The Austrian Solar Photovoltaic Disaster

Yesterday, Photovoltaic Austria called the state of Austria’s solar photovoltaic industry in the last year a “full solar eclipse”. Similarly to wind energy, the newly installed solar PV capacity in Austria dramatically declined to only 2.0 MWp due to the bad Eco-electricity Act.

In contrast, the newly installed capacities of some of our neighboring countries: Germany +1,500 MWp, Italy +258 MWp, Czech Republic +51 MWp and Switzerland +11 MWp. While solar PV as the cleanest and most promising source of renewable energy only plays a minor role in Austria, it showed a global growth rate of 117% and secured 100,000 jobs in Europe.

Wind energy, thermal refurbishment and now solar energy: It is difficult to understand how long the Austrian government wants to wait in times of crisis, missing all these economic and ecologic chances. How long will it take until it realizes that Austrian businesses, employees and investors are eager for green investments and green jobs? How long will it disadvantage renewable energy and cause environmental damages and financial penalties for missing our Kyoto targets?

So, let us establish a meaningful Eco-electricity Act like in Germany that guarantees a good framework for sustainable jobs and sustainable energy! And let us set the right priorities in our budget in times of crisis, investing in energy, education, infrastructure, research and other future-oriented areas!

Posted on April 9, 2009 in Climate Change

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About the Author

Andreas Lindinger is a Vienna-based business consultant, sustainability expert and urban thinker passionate about livable cities, sustainable transportation, renewable energy and civic engagement. Andreas offers a transdisciplinary business, finance and sustainability background, industry expertise in energy, mobility and environmental consulting and broad international experience gained in Vienna, Vancouver, Berlin and Dublin. Make sure to also check out and to follow @lindinger on Twitter.

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