Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Last updated: 5 November 2017
The regulatory structure in Austria has long supported CHP. The Austrian Energy Liberalisation Act implemented on 1 December 2000 included the Federal Act providing new rules on the organisation of the electricity sector, "ELWOG 2000" (Electricity Act 2000). This Act enabled the executive laws of the nine Federal Provinces to oblige grid companies to purchase electricity from CHP plants, provided that they served public district heating supply. It also stipulated that a minimum payment per kWh to be granted to CHP generated electricity serving public district heating. While the original Liberalisation Act gave the Federal Provinces full discretion in setting these rates as they chose, 2003 legislation established one CHP tariff for the entire country. However, neither the original law nor the 2002 update made provisions for the continuation of this system after 2004. In July 2002, the new Green Electricity Act was passed by the National Council and Federal Council (announced in mid-August 2002). Most of its clauses came into effect on 1 January 2003. The Green Electricity Act governed the aid for green energy and combined heat and power generation throughout the country, requiring, in practice, all end consumers and electricity dealers in Austria to equally finance the aid required. The Green Electricity Act established a budget limit for CHP support in Austria based on a CHP surcharge cap imposed on electricity sold to end consumers, which was to decline from 0,15 cent/kWh in 2003 to 0,05 Cent/kWh in 2010. The CHP support tariff for 2003 and 2004 was capped at 1,5 Cent/kWh or 1,25 Cent/kWh, depending on conformity to the efficiency and district heating standards laid out in the Green Electricity Act. These CHP arrangements provided for equal treatment of all CHP plants in Austria and one harmonised CHP surcharge paid for by the end consumer throughout Austria. 2003 Evaluation: District heating (DH) and combined heat and power (CHP) plants are widespread throughout Austria, and are often instrumental in meeting the heating and power needs of medium and large cities. District heating schemes produce approximately 12% of the country's heating and hot water and 27% of the country's electricity. The city of Vienna has the most extensive system which provides 50% of the citys power and 40% of its heat and hot water. In 2001, the four CHP plants that serve WIENSTROM GmbH, the Viennese energy utility, had a combined electric capacity of 1 050 MW. They operated at a 35% capacity factor over the year and produced 3 255 GWh of output. In additional to such municipal facilities, industrial plants also make use of CHP technology.