Newsroom / News / Media / Info Magazine LGP NEWS 02/2021 / The Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EAG):

The Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EAG):

Back to the Future!

The Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EAG):

After a long period of political tug-of-war, the two-thirds majority required to pass the Federal Act concerned with the expansion of energy from renewable sources (EAG) – was finally found in Parliament on 7 July 2021. This is the first important step to a significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in Austria, which is unavoidable if the impending climate catastrophe is to be countered effectively. 

By 2030, at least 32.5 % of energy in Austria is to come from renewable sources, with even 100 % of the electricity supply to come from renewable energy sources by then. Alongside increasing the share of renewable gas to 5 TWh per year, these measures will allow climate neutrality to be achieved by 2040. 

The EAG has set itself the following top-line goals: 

  • Annual electricity generation from renewable sources is to be increased by 27 TWh (of which 11 TWh from photovoltaics, 10 TWh from wind power, 5 TWh from hydropower and 1 TWh from biomass) by 2030 
  • The share of nationally produced renewable gas in Austrian gas sales is to be increased to 5 TWh per year by 2030 
  • The share of renewable energy in district heating is to be increased 
  • To promote e-mobility, charging point directories for publicly accessible charging points (charging stations) will become more informative 

With all these measures, the security of gas and electricity supply should continue to be ensured. Plant operators will be incentivised to meet targets, build new plants and adapt existing ones through premiums and investment subsidies. Simplifications to the authorisation procedure, in-grid connection and net access are also planned. 

The following measures are envisaged: 

  • Introduction of market premiums to promote the generation of electricity from hydropower, wind power, photovoltaics, solid biomass and biogas 
  • Investment grants for the construction and expansion of photovoltaic systems, electricity storage systems and wind turbines 
  • Enabling the establishment of renewable energy communities 
  • Enabling the establishment of citizen energy communities 
  • Simplified grid connection and grid access for plants based on renewable energy sources 
  • Creating regulatory freedom for innovative projects 
  • Investment grants for the retrofitting of existing biogas plants and for new plants to be built for the production of renewable gas 
  • Investment grants for plants for the conversion of electricity into hydrogen or synthetic gas 
  • Enabling grid operators to own installations for the conversion of electricity into hydrogen or synthetic gas and the construction, management and operation of such installations by grid operators 
  • Permit exemption for electrical line installations up to 45 kV (except overhead line installations above 1000 volts) 

This will require additional contributions from citizens and businesses, as the funds for the expansion of renewable energy are to be levied primarily from the end consumers connected to the public electricity and gas distribution network. This will lead to an increased cost for individual households of about EUR 18 per year for green electricity contributions and EUR 40 for green gas contributions. Companies will be charged from EUR 1,100.46 to EUR 1,000,879 (net) for electricity, depending on the grid level, consumption and connected load, and EUR 31 to EUR 57,096 for gas, depending on the grid level and consumption. 

Replacing fossil energy generation with renewable energy generation technologies is expected to achieve CO2 savings of around 8.96 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) by 2030; in the electricity sector fossil generation technologies (gas-fired power plants) will be substituted by renewable energy generation. Self-generated renewable electricity generation and supply will also predominantly displace fossil electricity. In the gas sector, planned investment subsidies will enable the production and use of around 23 TWh of renewable gas by 2030, which should lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases of up to 5,725,000 t CO2 eq by 2030. 

Feed-in tariffs & market premiums 

The planned subsidies for hydropower, wind power, photovoltaics, biomass, biogas, hydrogen and synthetic gas are of particular interest to plant operators and investors. Around EUR 1 billion per year is to flow into the expansion of renewable energy sources by 2030. The production expansion of “green” hydrogen and “green” gas alone is to be funded with EUR 80 million annually. Instead of the previous system of fixed feed-in tariffs, market premiums are now envisaged (in line with the implementation of EU legal requirements) to promote the generation of electricity from hydropower, wind power, photovoltaics, solid biomass and biogas, as are investment subsidies for the construction and expansion of photovoltaic plants, electricity storage facilities and wind power plants. 

Private households and small investors will also be motivated to invest in the energy transition through the introduction of renewable energy communities and citizen energy communities. Renewable energy communities are intended to enable the joint use of locally produced renewable energy. Private individuals, local departments of public authorities or legal entities under public law and SMEs whose main activity is not the production and supply of energy can all participate. Users can also come together (virtually) to form supra-regional citizen energy communities in order to invest in alternative energy systems. In principle, participation in a citizen energy community is open to all legal entities. 

It is to be hoped that the new instruments of the EAG will lead to lively investment activity, both at the corporate level and in the private sector. However, a more comprehensive rethink will probably be required if we as humanity want a climate-friendly future. For our first step though we want to implement the EAG. 

If you need a partner for your EAG project who can support you in mastering complex regulatory framework, our experts at LGP are happy to advise you at any time. 


Mag. Andreas Bauer, Attorney-at-Law and Head of Environmental & Public Commercial Law at LANSKY, GANZGER + partner

My documents

Add page

There are currently no documents in your basket.