The subsidy programme "Solar Thermal – Solar large-scale” launched by Austria Solar was one of the most successful programmes of the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund in 2010. The 38 submitted projects were twice as much as could be financed by the original budget (see www.solarthermalworld.org/node/1538). Its increase still during 2010 made it possible to ultimately finance all of the applications received. The 2011 budget now provides EUR 5 million – more than double the amount of last year.
Tendering started on 7 April. The grants are to promote the planning and set-up of innovative solar thermal plants with collector areas between 100 and 2,000 m², which cover one of the following areas or requirements:
- Solar process heat in production companies
- District heating
- High solar coverage (more than 20% of total heat demand) in commercial operations and service companies
- Solar cooling in combination with solar hot water heating and solar space heating
The current programme supports solar cooling systems under the same conditions as the solar thermal part of the installation.
The maximum funding rate is 40% of the additional environmental investment costs, plus possible surcharges. The funding consists of non-repayable investment grants. A consultation with experts of the supporting research institutes is required as part of the application, which can be submitted until 1 September 2011.
"Both the Energy Strategy Austria and the Roadmap Solar Heat 2020 aim to increase the share of solar thermal technology for the application of low temperature heat to 10 % by 2020," Austria’s Environment Minister Niki Berlakovich states in a press release. "The programme offers an important contribution to that goal. It paves the way for broad implementation of large-scale, high-efficiency solar systems in the future and brings us one step closer to energy independence.”
This text was written by Stephanie Banse, a German journalist specialised on solar thermal technology. (email@example.com)