More than 6.000 Viennese are already involved in the expansion of the use of renewable energy. By 2030, 40 % of the energy consumption should come from renewable energy.
By investing in community-funded solar power plants, Viennese citizens have the opportunity to participate in the development of renewable energies. Citizens’ power plants mark the beginning of the dawn of a solar energy future for Vienna, and show the city’s clear commitment to developing solar energy.
Setting up your own ecological energy supply system is not always an option, particularly in a big city where 80 per cent of the population lives in rented flats. As part of the development of various renewable energy sources, using solar energy is essential for climate protection and constitutes a key step towards phasing out the inflationary use of fossil fuels. The city of Vienna strongly supports photovoltaic energy production, which started its boom in Vienna throughout the last few years.
On May 4, 2012 the first citizen solar power plant opened on the site of the Donaustadt power plant in the north of Vienna. Within the last four years 24 Citizens’ Solar Power Plants with 26,000 panels were constructed, which generate a total of approximately 6.8 MWp. The energy is fed into the Vienna power grid and provides solar power for approximately 3,000 local households.
A success story for Vienna
Since May 2012, more than 6,000 Viennese citizens have contributed to the development of renewable power within the city. Wien Energie has realised 24 solar energy projects and 4 wind turbines. Thus far the citizens’ power plants have produced more than 21 million kWh of renewable energy. This corresponds to the annual energy consumption of 240,000 fridges and saves 7,800 tons of CO2 annually. The citizens’ solar power plants take up an area comparable to 17 soccer fields.
2015 the participation model was expanded by adding wind energy. Citizens were able to contribute to the wind park Pottendorf. A modern wind power plant – namely a wind turbine – with a capacity of 3 megawatt can provide energy for 1,800 households.
40 per cent renewable energy by 2030
Wien Energie, the city-owned energy provider, has set a target of increasing the share of renewable energy in total electricity production to 40 per cent by 2030. Right now, Wien Energie deliver renewable energy to 800,000 people. In 2030, this number will amount to 1.5 million. Green energy is produced close to consumers to minimise transmission losses and reduce dependency on electricity imports. This is the first time a participation model of this kind has been implemented in an urban area, and it has proven economical even without subsidising feed-in tariffs.
Shares in the Vienna Citizens’ Solar Power Plants can be acquired by any private individual living in Austria.
Wien Energie is in charge of building and operating the photovoltaic systems and also bears the technical and economic risks. Citizens can buy panels at a price of 950 €. Wien Energie rents the panels from the individual purchasers, who then receive an annual remuneration for their investment. The owners always have the possibility to give the panel back to Wien Energie at the full price. At the end of the term of the rental agreement the initial investment is returned to the investor.
Wien Energie GmbH
This post is also available in: German