Market Development Renewable Energies in Austria

Development 2010 analysed for solid biofuels and technologies for solid biomass, solar thermal collectors, photovoltaic and heat pumps

Solid biomass - fuels

The energetic utilisation of solid biomass has a long tradition in Austria and is still a very important factor within the renewable energy sector. The consumption of final energy from sold biofuels increased from 142 PJ for 2007 to 164 PJ for 2010. The consumption of wood chips is increasing steadily since the beginning of the 1980s. In 2010 the wood chips consumption was 74 PJ and thus exceeds the consumption of wood logs with 68 PJ. The very well documented wood pellet market developed with an annual growth rate between 30 and 40% until 2006. This development was then stopped 2006 due to a supply shortage which resulted in a substantive price rise. But meanwhile the production capacity of 21 Austria pellet manufacturers has been extended to 1.2 million tons a year and this resulted in a market recovery. Fuels from solid biomass contribute to a CO2 reduction of almost 9,4 million tons for 2010. The whole sector of solid biofuels accounted a total turnover of 1.306 billion Euros and 13302 jobs.

Figure 1: Market development of different biomass fuel types from 2007 to 2010 in Austria; Source: BIOENERGY 2020+.

The success of bioenergy highly depends on the availability of suitable biomasses in sufficient volumes and at competitive prices. Thereby short rotation forestry is seen as highly potential for the future extension of the biomass base. This development is determined by regulative policy measures such as the Common Agricultural Policy. Furthermore, the development of bioenergy has to be coordinated with other biomass based branches and stakeholders. Together new synergies should be established to maximise added value from (especially regional) biomass. Technological research and development is required in order to further exploit new resources and to reduce costs along the supply chain under consideration of sustainability aspects.

Solid biomass - technologies

The market for biomass boiler has increased steadily from 2000 until 2006. A market break of more than 60% occurred 2007 with low prices for heating oil and the mentioned supply shortage of pellets. For 2008 the sales figures reached again the level of 2006. For 2010 a slight reduction of sales of pellets boilers about 4% was documented. For 2010 the sector of wood log boilers suffered substantial market break. The market break in all sectors of biomass boiler was due to several reasons like delayed impacts of the economic crisis, reduction of subsidies for biomass boilers and subsidies still given by the Austrian mineral oil industry for new oil boilers. The Austrian market comprises of 8131 pellet boilers, 6211 wood log boilers and of 4219 wood chip boilers for 2010 concerning the whole range of power. Furthermore 3273 pellet stoves, 8210 cooking stoves and 26100 wood log stoves were sold. Austrian biomass boiler manufactures typically export approximately 70% of their production. In Germany for instance two out of three installed biomass boilers are of Austrian origin. Germany and Italy are the biggest export markets for Austrian companies. The biomass boiler and stoves sector obtained a turnover of 867 mio Euro in 2010. This resulted in a total number of 4097 jobs. Research efforts are currently focused on the extension of the power range, further reduction of emissions, optimisation of systems and combined systems and in the development of market-ready small-scale and micro CHP systems.

Figure 2: Market development of biomass boilers from 1994 to 2010 in Austria; Source: Agricultural Chamber Lower Austria 2011 (LK NÖ 2011).


The full report is downloadable under this link:

Contact at BIOENERGY 2020+:

Rita Ehrig
Christa Kristöfel
Christoph Strasser
Manfred Wörgetter


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