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.
Energylab in Altötting on the topic “Shaping the Energy Future Regionally”, hosted by VERBUND with cooperation partners from Bavaria and Austria:
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.
The traffic sector is responsible for 28% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Austria, and is mainly dependent on natural gas imports. A growing proportion of electrically driven cars on Austria's roads can counteract this and at the same time provide economic impulses.
Hydropower is the most significant renewable and CO2-free energy source in Austria, and plays a key role in electricity generation. About 65% of the domestic electricity generation comes from hydropower – an essential contribution to climate protection. But hydropower is facing great challenges. It is imperative to strengthen its competitiveness in order to fully utilise its potential for the energy revolution.
VERBUND position: 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.
Green hydrogen is an essential part of the discussion on energy and climate policy. The EU Commission adopted its own hydrogen strategy at the beginning of July 2020 and sees the development of a hydrogen industry not only as an opportunity to maintain its position of technology leadership in Europe, but also to make a substantial contribution to stimulating economic activity, especially in times of COVID-19.
VERBUND point of view: Hydrogen (German only)
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 its Clean Energy Package (CEP), the EU has set itself suitable ambitious targets for 2030. Against the backdrop of the envisaged interim evaluation and the Green Deal launched by the new EU Commission, which provides for increasing the CO2 reduction target in 2030 from 40% to 50-55%, it is expected that the bar for energy efficiency will soon also be raised even higher. The Energy Efficiency Directive must be implemented in national law by 25 June 2020.
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.
VERBUND’s position on sustainable finance (German only)
In the fight against climate change, increasing numbers of consumers are looking to reduce their environmental footprint. This also includes clarity about the origin and CO2 emissions of the electricity they consume. Companies are also observing how their customers are increasingly interested in the sustainability of the products and the supply chains behind them: Were the products created with renewable energy and if they were, with which plants, where are they located, when were they built, etc.? In Europe, this transparency in the electricity sector is guaranteed by so-called certificates of origin. This certification system is now also being gradually expanded to the area of renewable gases. The stringent requirements for electricity labelling in Austria can serve as a blueprint for this.
VERBUND point of view: Management of evidence (German only)
Studies & Expert Assessment
In the interest of generating current figures and data as well as scientific knowledge about topics relating to energy politics, VERBUND regularly takes part in studies and assessments relevant to the enterprise. Our experts contribute their know-how and experience in the process. Here, you can find a selection of studies that were commissioned by VERBUND.
Hydropower makes a significant contribution to Europe's economy, to the reliability of the electricity supply and to climate protection. This is shown very clearly by the study "The hydropower sector's contribution to a sustainable and prosperous Europe". The study presents new data and facts on the economic value of hydropower for Europe as a whole.
A consortium of 21 leading hydropower companies and associations in Europe, headed and coordinated by VERBUND, commissioned the internationally renowned consulting firm DNV GL to conduct the study. The participating companies represent about 95% of the hydropower output in Europe (EU 28, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). EURELECTRIC and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) were involved in the project as cooperation partners.
To get electromobility off the ground, the main requirement is electricity. If this is drawn from renewable energy sources, then electromobility should significantly reduce CO2 emissions. But how great are the reductions, and what other ecological effects are there? Which economic effects are possible? Is 100% electricity from renewable energy sources for e-mobility economically feasible? What are the determining factors for this? These questions were investigated in the study "100% electricity from renewable energy sources for e-mobility", which was conducted on behalf of VERBUND by A.T. Kearney and the TU Vienna.
> Study report
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.