Market development renewable energy in Austria 2011

Market statistics on renewable energy 2011 released. 28 % increas in pellet boiler sales in 2011

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 169 PJ for 2011. The consumption of wood chips is increasing steadily since the beginning of the 1980s. In 2011 the wood chips consumption was 77.7 PJ and thus exceeds the consumption of wood logs with 68.9 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 24 Austria pellet manufacturers has been extended to 1.25 million tons a year and this resulted in a market recovery. The pellet production in Austria was around 12 PJ (710000 t) in 2011.
Fuels from solid biomass contribute to a CO2 reduction of almost 9.6 million tons for 2011. The whole sector of solid biofuels accounted a total turnover of 1435 billion Euros and 14190 jobs.

Figure 2.1: Market development of different biomass fuel types from 2007 to 2011 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 – boilers and stoves

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 due to the economic and financial crisis. In 2011 the market for pellet boilers was growing again with about 28 % increase of sales.

The Austrian market comprises of 10505 pellet boilers, 6328 wood log boilers and of 4360 wood chip boilers for 2011 concerning the whole range of power. Furthermore 3501 pellet stoves, 8802 cooking stoves and 26956 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 994 mio Euro in 2010. This resulted in a total number of 4661 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 2.2: Market development of biomass boilers from 1994 to 2011 in Austria; Source: Agricultural Chamber Lower Austria 2012 (LK NÖ 2012a).

The report (German) can be downloaded here:

Rita Ehrig



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