Wind power expansion in Austria to recover further in 2022

Wind farm. Author: fantastklywell.

January 18 (Renewables Now) - Austria is expected to considerably accelerate the expansion of onshore wind capacity in 2022 after years of slowdown and deploy the record-high 427 MW of turbines across the country.

The installation of 106 turbines will entail investments of EUR 620 million (USD 707m) and would come close to the annual expansion pace of an additional 1.2 TWh of electricity from wind power needed to reach the country's 2030 targets, said Stefan Moidl, head of the Austrian wind energy association IG Windkraft.

The addition of new turbines in the Alpine country was on the decline for several years before it hit a low in 2020 when more turbines were switched off than commissioned. The expansion of wind power started to recover in 2021 when 69 turbines with a combined capacity of 298 MW were commissioned and investments rose to EUR 435 million.

At the end of 2021, Austria's wind capacity totalled 3.3 GW and now the country needs to set aside new areas for wind turbines in all its states and speed up the approval process, according to Moidl.

Austria aims to increase the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources to 100% in 2030 from currently 75%. The country's scheme to support green electricity production was approved by the European Commission in December and payments under the scheme are estimated to total about EUR 4.4 billion until the end of 2032.

In order to switch to 100% renewable electricity production, 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.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.140)

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