Austria’s Largest State Is Running On 100% Renewable Energy

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.

This good news comes just weeks before world leaders meet for decisive UN climate talks in Paris later this month.

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.

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