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15 January 2018
On October 15 2017 Austria elected a new Parliament. Following the elections, a new government was formed – a coalition between the Austrian Peoples Party (OVP) and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO). On December 16 2017 the new government presented its government programme,(1) which sets out its framework and indicates the legislative projects that it intends to implement over the coming five years. A major part of the new programme focuses on energy. The chapter on energy addresses:
This update focuses on:
According to the government programme, OVP and FPO plan to increase renewable energy production continually. With regard to electricity generation, the government programme foresees an expansion of renewable energy sources. By 2030 100% of the national electricity supply will come from renewable sources. The new government also intends to optimise the subsidies scheme to make it cost efficient. The details of the new programme are set out below:
One of the top priorities of the new government programme is to maintain the high level of security of supply in the Austrian energy sector. The new government plans to increase security of supply, while seeking to make Austria less dependent on energy imports.
The government intends to foster decentralised electricity generation and new storage technologies. At the same time, the government programme foresees an adaptation of the necessary infrastructure. In order to reach this goal, the government plans to extend and modernise the network infrastructure:
The new government is convinced that innovation and investments for a cleaner and more secure energy future need a proper regulatory framework. To facilitate investment, the government plans to improve planning security and legal certainty and dismantle bureaucracy. This is especially true for large infrastructure projects (eg, power plants and network expansions), which are necessary for the energy reform. Currently, the procedures for large infrastructure projects are time consuming and complicated. This is, according to the government, hindering the transformation of the energy sector and endangering the security of supply. Therefore, the government programme includes a plan to speed up and simplify the licensing procedures and dismantle bureaucracy. In detail, the government programme foresees the following steps:
The new government programme addresses some of the most pressing issues in the Austrian energy sector, such as a reform of the subsidies scheme for renewable energy and a decrease in energy imports. The government's goals are rather ambitious, given the fact that it hopes to have 100% of the national electricity supply come from renewable sources by 2030. However, since the government programme provides no details on how this goal will be achieved, it remains to be seen what changes the energy sector will face over the coming five years.
For further information on this topic please contact Stefanie Orator-Saghy at Schoenherr by telephone (+43 1 53 43 70) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Schoenherr website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.eu.
(1) A German version of the government programme can be found here.
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