Austria to support small-scale solar PV projects with EUR 20m

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August 18 (Renewables Now) - The Austrian government has provided further EUR 20 million (USD 23.5m) to the Climate and Energy Fund to support the installation of solar PV systems of up to 50 kW against the backdrop of strong demand, the Federal Association of Photovoltaics in Austria said.

The scale-up was urgently needed as nearly all of the financing for small-scale installations provided by the Climate and Energy Fund has been already used, causing uncertainty among solar PV system developers and operators, said the association's head Vera Immitzer. The additional funding will help more small and mid-sized companies as well and individuals to switch to renewable energy from solar power, Immitzer added.

The additional financial support is seen as crucial in ensuring reliable planning in the industry until the new Renewable Expansion Law (EAG), which was passed last month, enters into force.

The Climate and Energy Fund provides one-off subsidies of between EUR 150 and EUR 250 per kWp for the installation of solar PV systems of up to 50 kW.

In July, the Austrian parliament voted in favour of the Renewable Expansion Law that sets the goal of switching to 100% renewable electricity production by 2030. For this to happen, the Alpine country will make massive investments in capacity expansion as it needs an additional 27 TWh of electricity generation. The expansion push will focus on solar and wind energy as hydropower already plays a major role in the country's energy mix. Solar PV power is projected to account for 11 TWh, supported primarily by the ambitious programme for one million rooftops, while wind energy should generate 10 TWh. The rest is hydro and a bit of biomass.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.177)

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