Electricity from renewable energy sources
Electricity from hydropower, biomass, wind power, solar energy or spent liquor from paper and pulp production is generated without or with hardly any greenhouse-gas emissions.
There is a host of technologies used for generating electricity from renewable energy sources. In Austria, electricity is primarily generated and offered from hydropower, wind power, biomass, solar energy or spent liquor from paper and pulp production.
Basically, any form of electricity generation entails various negative implications on humans and the environment – for example emissions from air pollutants and greenhouse gases, solid and liquid waste, radioactivity, land use, loss of biodiversity etc.
A key advantage harboured by electricity from renewable energy sources is that its generation does not entail any or hardly any greenhouse-gas emissions. Moreover, it reduces dependence on imports and improves security of supply. The enhanced use of renewable energy sources also has a positive impact on the creation of value-added and employment in Austria.
Pursuant to Austrian Electricity Law, electricity traders must itemise the composition of the electricity sold by them according to the energy sources used and indicate the environmental impact of electricity generation (as a minimum requirement: CO2 emissions and radioactive waste).
Tip: Check the composition of your provider’s electricity on your electricity bill.
Free choice of electricity supplier
Since October 2001, all electricity consumers have been able to freely select their electricity trader.
The rate calculator, as it is called, (which is for example available on the website of the Austrian energy regulation authority Energie-Control Austria) provides up-to-date information regarding electricity traders and electricity prices.
Enter your area code and approximate annual energy consumption, and you will receive various offers ordered by price. Furthermore, the rate calculator provides more detailed information regarding the composition of electricity according to “electricity labelling”. Under “Details & discounts”, you will find, among other things, an itemisation of the technologies from which the electricity is generated.
Tip: Currently, there is a wide variety of electricity suppliers all over Austria offering electricity from 100% renewable energies – in 2014, there were overall 81 of these suppliers. Use the rate calculator to check prices. Green electricity need not necessarily be more expensive.
Green electricity eco-label
In conclusion, mention should be made of the green electricity eco-label stipulating extensive ecological criteria. Currently, there are eight electricity suppliers that have been awarded this eco-label.