Austria: Third Incentive Year for Large-scale Solar Thermal Plants

 Julius Blum GmbH ” The great success over the past two years prompted the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund to extend its incentive programme for large-scale solar thermal plants into 2012 as well. When the programme was launched on 13 June, it was actually the third time. The scheme has already granted financial support to 38 (2010) and 52 (2011) systems in the past years - including the 460 m² for solar process heat at the production plant of an international manufacturer of kitchen fittings, Julius Blum GmbH (see photo). Now equipped with a budget of EUR 4 million, applications can start coming in until 21 September 2012.
Photo: Julius Blum GmbH

The grants are thought to promote innovative solar thermal plants of collector areas between 100 and 2,000 m² by covering 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 industrial or service companies
  • Solar cooling in combination with solar hot water heating and solar space heating

In the current programme period, the same conditions apply to both solar process heat integration and solar thermal.

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 part of the application, which can be submitted until 21 September 2012.

The total budget in 2012 amounts to EUR 4 million. In 2010, the originally planned EUR 2 million were increased to EUR 5 million – after it became clear how great the demand was for the scheme. In 2011, the budget was subsequently increased from EUR 5 million to EUR 6.3 million.

The programme started in 2010 with the aim of giving an impetus to the development of large-scale solar thermal systems and establish an alternative heat supply for commercial applications. The scheme was also planned to help replace fossil fuels and meet the national action plan (34% renewables by 2020). Over the past two years, the scheme helped fund a total of 90 projects, such as on the National Sports and Recreation Center Faak, Carinthia, the Franciscan monastery in Graz, Styria, and the heat supply system in the district of Salzburg Lehen, with 350 flats, one dormitory, laboratories, office buildings and a hotel (please refer to the attached presentation for more information; German only).

More information (German only):
Climate and Energy Fund: www.klimafonds.gv.at
Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment & Water Management: www.lebensministerium.at
Austria Solar: www.solarwaerme.at

This text was written by Stephanie Banse, a German journalist specialised in solar thermal technology. (banse(@)solrico.com)

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