October 30, 2019
◼ Great potential of photovoltaics
Austria could cover one fifth of its entire electricity demand with photovoltaics.
This is the assessment of a recent study by the Joint Research Centre and the European Institute of Innovation & Technology.
The assessment is based on a survey of all roof areas that would be suitable for the installation of PV systems. In Austria this is 151 million square metres, which together could produce 12,854 gigawatt hours per year. The authors of the study put this potential in relation to regional electricity and capital costs. The results are impressive: Based on the total annual electricity consumption in Austria of 61,852 gigawatt hours (values from 2016), photovoltaics could economically cover 12,294 gigawatt hours when fully expanded. This shows that PV technology is an economic alternative in the generation of electrical energy almost everywhere in Germany.
However, the potential is not yet being exploited: In Upper Austria, for example, 27,000 PV systems currently contribute 1.8 percent to electricity generation, while the share at EU level was less than four percent in 2016. "The research results underline that a rapid expansion of photovoltaics is not only ecological, but also economical," PV expert Dr. Gerhard Rimpler comments on the study.