Responsible advocacy of interests and VERBUND positions
Dialogue with political and societal decision makers is an essential element of sustainable corporate governance. With our positions, we would like to contribute towards solving policy challenges regarding energy and the environment. Therefore we would also like to make our expert knowledge available for developing stable and fair framework conditions for our energy future.
When it comes to its relations with stakeholders, VERBUND itself has clear objectives regarding a transparent and responsible representation of interests and states: we orientate ourselves according to substantive positions and apply our knowledge constructively to the decision-making process. We commit ourselves to a responsible and sustainable representation of our interests in accordance with our corporate mission statement and our basic values.
Engaging in Dialogue
We are committed to engaging in regular dialogue with the broadest possible base of stakeholder groups. Here, we provide information via different channels on energy policy developments, enter into a discourse on current and future challenges for the energy industry and offer constructive suggestions for solutions. In the following, you can find an overview of the most important dialogue formats in VERBUND’s special interest group.
For example, a collaborative energy policy position paper was thus developed prior to the parliamentary elections in 2013, and a study project on e-mobility based 100% on electricity from renewable energy sources was carried out.
> Study on e-mobility (: ATKEARNEY and TU Vienna)
> Presentation on the study
Our positionsWhoever takes on responsibility, has to also openly and honestly vouch for their point of view. We would like to present our positions on important current energy- and climate-related policy topics here. We have drawn them up in a short and concise manner. If you would like to receive further information regarding this, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Green Mobility – climate-protecting solutions for the mobility sector
In Austria, around one third of total emissions was accounted for by the mobility sector in 2021. To achieve the federal government’s goal of making the sector climate neutral by 2040, massive investments in the transport transition are required. A climate-neutral mobility sector can succeed with a wide-ranging bundle of measures. The expansion of public transport, future-orientated spatial planning, the switch to low-emission drives and not least probably adjustments to personal mobility behaviour will be necessary if this mammoth task is to succeed. As a renewable energy company, VERBUND also sees itself challenged in this area to make an important contribution to decarbonisation with appropriate investments in charging infrastructure, through the provision of attractive, renewable electricity and service products as well as through the development of green hydrogen projects for specific mobility segments.
VERBUND position on Green Mobility (German only)
Hydropower is by far the most important renewable source of energy in Austria. Over 57% of domestic electricity generation comes from run-of-river and storage power plants. In addition, highly efficient pumped storage facilities provide the majority of the flexibility and storage capacity required for system stability and security of supply. Run-of-river, storage and pumped storage power plants are thus the backbone of the domestic, secure and renewable electricity supply and make an important contribution to the security of supply and climate protection not only in Austria, but also in Europe. And yet hydropower is faced with major challenges with regard to ecological and societal questions and matters pertaining to the energy industry. To secure the energy transition to a renewable future, the competitiveness of hydropower has to be further strengthened.
VERBUND’s position on hydropower (German only)
Digitisation is at the centre of activities in all business areas of VERBUND and has the goal of efficiently shaping internal and external services and processes. Digital innovations, competences and skills are constantly being developed further. In all areas – from generation to trading and sales – potentials for increased digitisation should be developed. Digital solutions are the catalyst for a successful energy future in Austria.
VERBUND point of view: Digitisation (German only)
Austria is aiming at covering 100% of its electricity needs – calculated over the year in balance sheet terms – entirely from renewable energies by 2030. Alongside significant efforts being made in the area of energy efficiency, a massive expansion of renewable generation capacities, particularly in the photovoltaic and wind sectors, as well as in hydropower, will be needed to achieve this goal. The generation mix in Austria will therefore also be much more volatile by 2030 than it is today. Both occasionally and seasonally, there will be an increasing mismatch of electricity supply and demand. The transmission grid operator APG works to a seasonal shifting requirement of 10 TWh per year. In order to be able to maintain security of supply in Austria despite this, as well as to efficiently design the use of the photovoltaics and wind power, which are known for being volatile renewables, and to avoid any regulation of these plants, expansion of the grid will need to be accompanied, in particular, by substantial investments in greatly expanded storage capacities. Flexibility instruments such as demand response and sector coupling will grow in importance.
The ambitious decarbonisation targets of the European Union involve a range of sectors that have so far frequently been considered separately from each other. While reducing greenhouse gases has been a stated political goal in the power sector for years already and has long been actively advanced through numerous policies (e.g. through subsidies for the expansion of renewable electricity generation), the focus is increasingly shifting to new sectors and industries: the mobility sector as well as the heating and cooling sectors should continue to reduce their CO2 emissions. Industry, much of which is already subject to the EU emissions trading scheme, is also looking for new ways to make its processes more low-CO2. To make this happen as efficiently as possible, these sectors are now increasingly being coupled and integrated – and the keywords sector coupling and sector integration imbued with life.
The decarbonisation of our economic, social and energy system is a major challenge, but also an opportunity for Austria as an economic location. Only by taking this opportunity to the fullest will we succeed in keeping Austria’s economy and industry on the leading edge of the keen international competition and thus also continue to secure the prosperity and high quality of life in Austria. VERBUND therefore supports ambitious climate protection targets at global, European and national level, and advocates effective instruments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With its almost 100 percent CO2-free electricity generation portfolio and other climate protection initiatives, VERBUND is a pioneer in the energy industry.
VERBUND position: Climate protection (German only)
VERBUND position: Expansion of renewables (German only)
Energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies are central instruments for overcoming the challenges of climate and energy policy. In the Clean Energy Package (CEP) of 2019, the EU set itself appropriately ambitious targets for 2030, although implementation of the efficiency guidelines in Austria is still outstanding. In the meantime, the efficient targets for 2030 have been significantly raised again as part of the subsequent legislative packages Fit for 55 and RepowerEU. The ratification process in the Council and EP is currently being advanced at full speed and could still be concluded in 2022.
Against the backdrop of the enormous challenges that exist in the decarbonisation of energy and industrial systems, private capital must also be mobilised alongside public funds to achieve sustainable investments. Clear, transparent and uniform criteria for sustainable financial products are important for actually steering capital in the direction of decarbonisation. VERBUND is already a pioneer in the field of Sustainable Finance.
VERBUND’s position on sustainable finance (German only)
Our society’s shift towards greater sustainability encompasses almost all areas of our life, which is also reflected in the Green Deal of the European Commission. A core element of the Green Deal is the “Fit for 55” package, which implements the Green Deal for the area of climate and energy. VERBUND supports both the holistic approach of the Green Deal as well as the ambitious targets of the “Fit for 55” package.
VERBUND position on the Green Deal (German only)
The current energy crisis, hugely exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, is painfully showing us how seriously the dependence on fossil sources of energy – especially from a single trading partner – is impacting the security of supply and thus Austria as an economic location. What measures should be taken from VERBUND’s perspective to make a contribution towards overcoming the crisis?
VERBUND position on security of supply (German only)
Membership and participation in associations and professional organisations form an important component of responsible special interest groups. VERBUND is therefore represented in numerous associations in order to share its knowledge and interests in the best possible manner, but also to generate (specialised) knowledge that can be valuable for the company’s further development.
The focus here lies on national special interest groups, as well as scientific institutions and professional associations. When it comes to special interest groups, aspects such as transparency, clarity and responsibility are of particular importance to us. VERBUND’s memberships are therefore aligned with our corporate philosophy and the principles for responsible special interest groups.
VERBUND and companies in the VERBUND group are represented in the following organisations, among others:
- Austrian Mobile Power (AMP)
- Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft e.V (BDEW)
- Deutsche Handelskammer in Österreich
- European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)
- Industriellenvereinigung Österreichs (IV)
- Oesterreichs Energie (OE)
- Österreichischer Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaftsverband (ÖWAV)
- Weltenergierat Österreich (World Energy Council Austria)
In addition, thanks to a nomination by Oesterreichs Energie (OE), VERBUND employees are also active on the boards of EURELECTRIC and other European special interest groups.