Currently, 32% of Austria’s industrial energy demand (currently approx. 30% of total energy) is covered by electricity. During the course of decarbonization, today’s demand (30 TWh) could more than double. On behalf of the Climate and Energy Fund , the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology has now investigated how industry can be supplied with renewable energy and the requirements this poses on the energy infrastructure.

The IndustRiES study comes to the conclusion that the available potential of renewable energy (231 TWh) could theoretically already 100% power the country’s industry. However, final energy consumption is not covered in all sectors (transport, public/private services, private households, agriculture). In addition, the analysis draws on three scenarios (basis, efficiency, and upheaval) to show how industry can be increasingly converted to renewable energy: through better infrastructure, more regional grids to connect new wind farms or hydroelectric power plants, and more grid connections to neighboring countries. “The results show that we can make the transition in Austria,” says Wolfgang Hribernik of AIT. “However, we need more consistency for the expansion of renewables, as well as a systemic analysis of the needs of other sectors.”