Go Austria! Earlier this week, the largest of the country’s nine states, Lower Austria, announced that it is now sourcing 100% of its electricity for its 1.65-million-strong population from renewable energy.
An immense amount of effort was invested into making this vision a reality, reports Science Alert.
Said Erwin Proell, premier of Lower Austria, at a news conference:
“We have invested heavily to boost energy efficiency and to expand renewables. Since 2002 we have invested 2.8 billion euros (US$3 billion) in eco-electricity, from solar parks to renewing (hydroelectric) stations on the Danube.”
And it’s those hydroelectric stations which are producing most of the state’s energy. Lower Austria receives almost two-thirds (63%) of its electricity from hydroelectric power. 26% comes from wind energy, and the remainder is generated by biomass (9%) and solar (2%) power systems.
By investing in renewable energy production, Lower Austria has created around 38,000 ‘green jobs’ – a remarkable achievement indeed. The state aims to raise this number to 50,000 positions by the year 2030.
Lower Austria may now be running on 100% clean energy, but the rest of the nation isn’t far behind. Nearly 75% of the country’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources.
Among countries in the European Union, Austria is winning the race in its efforts to become fossil fuel-free. It is followed by Sweden, Portugal, Latvia and Denmark.
Denmark, if you remember, generated 140% of its energy needs in one day on a particularly windy day a few months ago.