Picture credits: Standortagentur Tirol

Green plans

Tirolean expertise in energy since 1979: the impounding reservoir Finstertal in Kühtai lies 2,300 m above sea level and contains about 60 million m³ of water.

(En)rich in renewables

Free from fossil fuels – pious hope? It makes sense in Tirol. The region plans on being completely independent of oil, natural gas, coal, etc. by 2050. And has a very good prospect of success. Because the region is rich. Rich in natural resources such as water, timber and sun. And rich in experience in how to benefit from natural energy sources.

The story of the hydraulic power stations on the river Inn in Tirol and the large storage power stations in the Alpine mountains with their impressive reservoirs started as early as 1938. Today, clean energy from hydropower is delivered by the energy provider Tiroler Wasserkraft AG to the houses in Tirol from a total of 9 large and medium and 40 somewhat smaller power stations. One quarter of the current power production comes from more than 1,000 small hydropower plants in Tirol. An area of 750 m² of solar panels for producing hot water and heating has been installed for every 1,000 inhabitants. Photovoltaic plants financed by public participation is simply common courtesy in the municipalities. The district heating plant fuelled by sawdust and woodchips is operating at full stretch. And four per cent of the demand for electrical power is gained from cogeneration plants fired by biomass or power plants fired by natural gas, landfill gas and sewage gas. So many reasons why today Tirol already has a share of 40% of self-generated power and plans on increasing this to 50% by 2020.

Producing more and more energy from renewable sources is one thing. Reducing consumption another. When it comes to energy efficiency, the energy strategy in Tirol aims to save at least 1% of energy demand of the previous five years by 2020 based on the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. By 2050, gross energy demand should be reduced by half. Because there is a large saving potential in building stock, the state government is not only funding new build passive houses but also thermal renovation of houses that have seen better days. Because by planning the measures well, energy demand and heating costs can still be reduced by up to 80 per cent. 1,079 groundwater heat pumps as well as 1,642 downhole heat exchangers are being used in Tirol. And in order to detect any free potential in usable heat from groundwater, the ground and the air, groundwater layer plans and heat load plans are being drawn up right now.

But that's not all: the state of Tirol also supports energy-saving measures in companies – the supermarket chain in Tirol MPreis has already about 7,300 m² of solar panels on the roofs of their buildings, generating about 1,100,000 kWh of electricity per year – and is involved in numerous consulting initiatives, e.g. the Tirolean consulting service ECOtirol. Unique in western Austria is also the "In-house Energy Management" certificate course that the Management Center Innsbruck started together with the Renewable Energies Cluster Tirol and has been holding for many years. Participants learn how to reduce the use of energy in the most important production processes or in buildings and, therefore, achieve considerable cost savings.

The plans in Tirol have recently been receiving support from the dialogue process "Tirol 2050 energieautonom" (Tirol energy autonomy by 2050). Because ambitious plans can only be carried out when all parties work together: energy and climate policy, the stakeholders, the companies, the research institutes and the Tirolean mountains. And a platform that shows completed projects and the people behind them to help others summon up the courage to do something themselves.

Why is Tirol so committed? Because it wants to expand its pioneering role in the field of sustainability and secure the Tirolean quality of life for future generations. Future-oriented, visionary and with a responsibility to both society and nature is how Tirol is establishing its independence of fossil fuels. And (en)riches.

Links

Would you like more information on Tirol's green strategy and the portal Tirol 2050 energieautonom ? Here are the links:

It starts with small things.

Bye bye standby & co:

Because small changes really can make a difference, the portal "Tirol 2050 energieautonom" provides useful tips on how to save energy.

Find out more

Facts & Figures

Your picture in figures:

Energy demand in Tirol 2012 - 93,140 terajoules
Change to 2005 - minus 6.1 per cent
Share of renewable energies in 2012 - 40.83 per cent