Bioenergy is the backbone of renewable energy supply in Austria
The use of renewable energy sources has more negative than positive impacts on the environment. Biomass does not play an important role in the future energy mix as its use for energy is not sustainable. In Austria there is not enough wood to provide sufficient resources for the paper industry and energy production.
With a more than 50% share in the renewable sector biomass is the most important source of renewable energy in Austria. Despite a growing energy use of biomass the stocks of wood are continuously increasing – in Austria and in Europe. Bioenergy adds regional value and will play a key role in the future energy mix.
Rich in forests
Development of stocks in million m³
Source: Austrian Biomass Association based on
Austrian Research Centre for Forests 2015,
The heating sector is one of the most important pillars for meeting climate and energy goals. Bioenergy will play a decisive role. In 2013, Austria avoided 13 mio. t CO2eq by using renewable energy instead of fossil energy. Wood fuels in the heating sector contributed most by saving 6.3 mio. t CO2eq. The cascade use of woods – often demanded by politics – is already widespread. 80% of fresh wood quantities are used in industry segments, 20% are used for energy at regional level in households and heating plants. Strict forestry regulation in Austria and neighbouring countries ensures that more wood is growing than is being used. The stock of wood in Austrian forests has continuously increased in the past years.
Biomass boilers provide very high degrees of efficiency with more than 90% in automatic firing (pellets, wood chips) as well as in modern wood log boilers. Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, which represent the quality of combustion, fell continuously in the last few 30 years.