Sustainable energy use

Sustainability is closely related to climate change, renewable electricity, resource conservation, energy efficiency etc. Austria has put in place a sustainable financial support scheme for renewable technologies, which contributes to several energy and climate policy goals. The following explanations give an overview of the relevant framework of energy and climate policies.
Efficient energy use is good for the environment – and saves money.

Efficient energy use is good for the environment – and saves money. click to enlarge

You can download a brochure on energy efficiency from our German pages.

Green electricity

Generally speaking, the term "green electricity" describes the generation of electric energy from renewable energy sources. Electricity can be generated from renewable energy sources that do not require raw materials:
 
  • Hydropower
  • Wind power
  • Geothermal energy
  • Solar power
  • Tidal energy

Generation from other renewable sources of energy depends on the following raw materials:

  • Gaseous biomass
  • Solid biomass
  • Liquid biomass
  • Sewage and landfill gas

The term "green electricity" is thus precisely defined and the distinction from the so-called conventional generation methods is clear. The latter rely on other sources of energy such as natural gas, coal or petroleum.

Supported green electricity

Not all methods of green electricity generation are eligible for financial support. In Austria, green electricity produced in wind, biomass and photovoltaic plants as well as new hydropower plants up to a certain generation capacity are subsidised. Larger hydropower plants are not subsidised because they usually yield profits without support.

Energy efficiency

When we discuss energy saving, the term "energy efficiency" is sure to come up as well. Often, the two terms are thought to mean the same. But there is a difference:

Saving energy means consuming less energy

  • e.g. by switching off lights or heating in unused rooms.

Energy efficiency means better utilisation of the energy consumed

  • e.g. insulating buildings to reduce energy consumption for heating while obtaining the same room temperature
  • or producing electricity and heat in cogeneration plants (combined heat and power generation) or recovering the waste heat of production processes