Low-carbon investment funding: EcoEnergyLand
A small region sets powerful activities for the transition to a low-carbon future through efficient use of funding
The Eco Energy Land is an association of 19 municipalities as local administrative units within the Austrian region of Burgenland. Known as pilot region for the utilization of RES for the last three decades, mainly focusing on biomass, the activities are now shifting to a broader integration of renewable sources, a smart distribution of generated renewable energy and the implementation of low-carbon technologies in the sectors of mobility, buildings, industry and private and public services.
These efforts were intensified in the period from 2014 to 2020 and have so far led to an absorption of subsidies amounting to around 35 million Euros in a region with around 20.000 inhabitants.Utilization of EU low-carbon initiatives
Resources from European funds were mainly utilized in the field of developing networks and measures regarding security and efficiency in the supply of renewable energy. Main focuses have been laid on:
ERDF and EAFDR
- Pilot projects for electromobility
- Renewable energy resource management networks
- Pilot for automatized heat and electricity distribution for higher efficiency
- Self powered buildings
- Horizon 2020
- Storage capacity serving over virtual neighbourhoods of energy ecosystems (pilot)
- National funding schemes
- Establishment of a model region regarding climate change and renewable energy in the framework of the national climate fund
- Knowledge and innovation projects regarding renewable energy
- Investment incentives for renewable energy generation facilities
- Subsidized feed-in remunerations for green electricity
Regional funding schemes
- The regional governmet is funding activities in the public and residential sector regarding the the shift towards a low-carbon economy. Funded activities are investments in: alternative energy systems, alternative mobility, photovoltaic and energy storage, building refurbishment and energy consulting. The fundings can be non-repayable grants or subsidised loans.
- The Burgenland Green Energy Fund serves to promote renewable energy sources and new technologies for green electricity generation as well as to increase energy efficiency in Burgenland. In 2018 almost 1,300 funding applications were approved with a total amount of over 1.5 million euros. The amount of funds, used in the EcoEnergyLand from this source is not identifiable.
Cooperation with private (and public) stakeholders
- 1 million € for a 1 MWpeak open-space photovoltaic plant have been invested by a private investor in the municipality of Strem. The plant was installed without the use of the funding schemes described above. It aims to achieve profitability on the basis of an energy community which, however, is not yet established due to the lack of concrete legal framework conditions. However, a corresponding regulation, which will also ensure legal certainty, is expected in 2020.
- Between 2014 and 2019, five public participation photovoltaic facilities have been installed in the EcoEnergyLand. The plants are operated by the respective municipality and the private participants revceive annual remunerations according to their share of investment contribution.
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