APG: February brings 88% power consumption coverage from renewable energies

The APG Factbox shows exports outnumbered imports for the first time in more than 20 years in February, thanks to exceptionally high renewable generation.

Vienna (OTS) On average over the past three years, 60 percent of electricity consumption in February has been offset by renewable generation. Combined with high wind power, 88 percent of Austria's electricity consumption was covered by renewables in February this year (week 5 – week 9) due to unseasonably high production from hydropower. This value is 30 percent higher than the previous year and about 35 percent higher than the average of the last three years. In February, renewable power generated a total of 5,278 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity.

Due to warmer temperatures, hydropower generation increased by 35 percent over the previous year. Overall, hydroelectricity generated 69 percent of renewables in February. Wind power contributed about 23 percent of renewables in the overall calculation and increased by 16 percent from the previous year.

The trend continues: Austria is again the exporting country in February for more than 20 years, as it was in January

Exceptionally good electricity production from renewable power generation Austria was able to export electricity abroad for 15 days in February. This month, Austria is generally heavily dependent on imports; Last year, in February, exports were recorded only in one day. In February this year, hydropower ensured that enough electricity was produced to make Austria an exporting country.

“Like January, for the first time in more than 20 years February exported more electricity than imported it. February export balance was 23 GWh. Prior to that, last February 2003, Austria recorded more exports than imports. These developments show the extraordinary volatility of the electricity system as the share of renewable energies in electricity generation increases. In order to integrate the projected growth rates of renewables in the next few years into a secure supply, but also to cope with the volatility of the entire system, more efficient electricity infrastructure, storage and intelligence in the digital electricity system are required. Our €9 billion investment plan until 2034 is central to the success of the secure energy transition,” explains Gerhard Christiner, Technical Director of APG.

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The need for redeployment highlights the existing shortage

Making volatile, renewable electricity usable requires a robust power grid that transports the electricity to where it is needed. In order to prevent overloads on the power grid and ensure a secure supply of electricity, the flow of electricity is controlled using so-called redispatch measures. It refers to the targeted and controlled use of thermal and hydraulic power plants.

“This year, such interventions are necessary in 25 days before the end of February. This causes the cost to be paid by electricity consumers. At the end of February, the costs incurred by the resale activities are about 8.2 million euros. A powerful power grid with sufficient capacity will significantly reduce the need for retransmission and reduce costs. Therefore, The immediate expansion of the network infrastructure is a priority,” emphasizes Thomas Carroll, Commercial Director of APG.

Energy transmission in Austria

The APG regional power grid also enables energy transmission within the country. This means that the electricity surplus of the individual federal states can be distributed throughout Austria and offset the deficit.

In February, the wind-strong federal states of Lower Austria (436 GWh) and Burgenland (246 GWh) generated a large energy surplus and were able to make it available throughout Austria through the APG network. The opposite effect was observed in Styria: with 167 GWh compared to Salzburg (153 GWh), the traditional industrial country had to buy more electricity from the grid.

Responsible power consumption

In February (week 5 – week 9), 5,992 GWh of electricity was used from the public grid in Austria – about six percent less than in February 2023 (6,389 GWh).

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It is important to act responsibly when using electricity. With every electricity saving, CO2 and overall system costs are reduced, making a significant contribution to increasing system security. The trend of reducing CO2 should be further encouraged. This includes self-consumption of PV power.

In 2023 alone, around 2,400 MW of additional PV will be connected in Austria. This positive trend is obviously welcome, but brings major operational challenges: increased internal-production from PV systems brings massive feedbacks of regional electricity surpluses from distribution networks to APG's transmission network. At the same time, increased self-consumption means that data transparency regarding local consumption data is lost due to lack of digitization. The typical midday consumption peak does not occur on sunny days: the flow of electricity is completely reversed and regional electricity surpluses must be carried through the transmission network. It also shifts the electricity price curve and makes the market price negative with less consumption during lunch hours, especially on weekends.

Due to the lack of data transparency in local consumption data, Austria's current electricity consumption data is not fully meaningful. Austria's actual electricity consumption can only be determined through continuous transparent digitization of all parts of the electricity system. That means more electricity was definitely used in February 2024 than in the same month last year. However, exact numbers are not yet available from current local and regional data.

For tips on saving electricity, see www.apg.at/stromspartipps. With the APG Powermonitor, Austrians are able to see the most effective energy saving time, thus making an active contribution to CO2 reduction and system security. You can find APG Powermonitor here: www.apg-powermonitor.at/.

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APG continues to follow the development of the domestic e-economy and publishes under www.apg.at/infografiken Typical graphics on topics: energy transmission, electricity consumption in Austria, electricity generation from renewable sources, import/export, electricity prices and more

About Austrian Power Grid (APG).

As an independent transmission network provider, Austrian Power Grid (APG) is responsible for Austria's secure electricity supply. By using our powerful and digital electricity infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies, we integrate renewable energies as a platform for the electricity market, creating access to affordable electricity for Austrian consumers and creating the basis for a secure supply. as well as a sustainable business and living space. The APG network stretches to a length of about 3,400 km, which the company operates, maintains and employs about 850 experts to adapt to the increasing demands of electrification of society, business and industry. Most of the 67 substations distributed throughout Austria are operated remotely via a control center in Vienna's 10th district. By 2023, thanks to committed employees, security of supply was again 99.99 percent, one of the best in the world. Our investments of 445 million euros in 2024 (2023: 490 million, 2022: 370 million euros) are an economic engine and an essential building block for achieving Austria's climate and energy goals. APG will invest a total of €9 billion in network expansion and transformation by 2034.

Questions & Contact:

Austrian Power Grid AG
Mac. Christoph Schue
Leitung Corporate Communications & Reputation
Management/Company Spokesperson
+43 50 320 56230

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