Upper Austria: Solar Champions – proud of PV!

Read how the regional government of Upper Austria and OÖ Energiesparverband move closer to making full use of rooftop PV potential and becoming a leader region in PV energy with the development of a largescale solar awareness campaign.

Upper Austria: Solar Champions – proud of PV!

In its new PV strategy, the region of Upper Austria set itself the goal of achieving 200,000 rooftop PV systems by 2030, thereby increasing solar capacity tenfold! To drive this ambition, the regional government and OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV) launched a largescale solar campaign “Solar.Sonnenklar”.

There are already 35,000 PV systems in Upper Austria. Together, they supply 15% of the annual residential electricity demand and save annually 100,000 tonnes of CO2. Also, already 85% of new single-family houses are built with a PV system. Despite these positive developments, there are still way too many empty roofs!

The campaign “Solar.Sonnenklar” targets buildings in all sectors and reaches out to a range of stakeholder groups. Key messages are:

  • PV helps you become energy independent. Future increases in electricity prices will not affect you.
  • A PV system will reliably supply your building with clean energy for at least 20 years.
  • By purchasing a PV system, you support the local economy. Half of the added value stays in Austria, where the PV sector already offers more than 3,000 jobs.

A first activity of the campaign was a competition to find the region’s «Solar Champions». Individuals, companies, municipalities and organisations were invited to submit their PV projects and share why they are proud of solar energy. There was great response – over 300 submissions were received! These are some of Solar Champions:

  • “Power from above”: The catholic church of Upper Austria shows its responsibility for creation through its own PV strategy. 120 PV systems were installed on rectories, educational centres and even cemetery walls. Also, awareness-raising actions are carried out in the parish communities.
  • “Please replicate”: The Fischerleitner vehicle machine shop covers its annual electricity demand with a 100 kW PV system. The company contributes to increasing awareness and interest in e-mobility by providing electric curtesy vehicles – charged with its own solar electricity.
  • “PV as roofing”: Endorado developed a PV module in laminated glass that replaces conventional roofing materials as well as provides clean electricity. The product offers optimal ecological footprint and reduces overall construction costs.
  • “Step-by-step to energy independence”: From 1999 onwards, the Steininger family gradually transformed its home to be largely energy independent. First steps included pellet heating, thermal renovation and a 42 m2 solar thermal system. Later, an electric car, 21 kW PV and 16.6 kW energy storage system rounded off their exemplary project.

With this new PV strategy and campaign – combined with the development of renewable energy communities – Upper Austria and the ESV aim to make full use of rooftop PV potential and become a leader region in PV energy.

This best practice is issued from our publication Sustainable Regions in Action 2022. Read it now to discover many more best practices from FEDARENE members as well as an overview of our activities.