Austria plans renewable power boost

Molterer says vote on draft electricity law will help prevent need for nuclear power imports

Austrian environment minister Wilhelm Molterer yesterday welcomed virtual completion of a new electricity market law, which he said would help to significantly boost the share of renewably generated power in Austria.

Austria already derives over 70% of its electricity from hydropower, but the European Commission recently proposed requiring it to further increase this share to 78% by 2010 (ENDS Daily 10 May). The electricity market law approved by Austria's upper parliamentary house on Wednesday includes a target of 4% of electricity by 2007 to come from biomass, solar and wind power, and a further 1% from small hydropower.

"I am confident that [Austria will see] an important switch to greater use of renewable sources of energy and more efficient use of all forms of energy, preventing [the need for] nuclear power imports from Eastern Europe," environment minister Wilhelm Molterer said yesterday.

The draft law must return once more to the lower parliamentary house before it can enter into force.

Follow Up:
Austrian environment ministry, tel: +43 1 51522.

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