VERBUND mobilises for the energy transition


On the occasion of the finissage of the “Climate Care” exhibition supported by VERBUND at the Museum of Applied Art (MAK), CEO Michael Strugl spoke with the new director, Lilli Hollein, about how Austrians can be inspired to engage in the energy transition. In order to be able to meet the ambitious climate targets, it will be critical to motivate people and create broad-based acceptance for the investments and installations connected with the energy transition. VERBUND is taking responsibility and moving ahead as a leading company in the energy industry.

"Europe will become climate neutral by 2050, Austria will no longer be the source of any CO2 emissions by 2040. From 2030, all electricity consumption in our country should be covered entirely from renewable energy sources on a balance sheet basis. Everyone in this country is asked to meet the expansion targets by 2030: from politics to industry and business and everyone who lives in Austria. All of us can and must contribute to completing the energy transition together," says VERBUND CEO Michael Strugl. As the "power of the energy transition", the country's leading energy company wants to make a contribution not least with a recently launched campaign to mobilise Austrians to get involved in the energy transition. 

"The CLIMATE CARE exhibition is the heart of our contribution to the third VIENNA BIENNALE FOR CHANGE 2021 initiated by the MAK. Designers and creatives have spent many years working on solutions and strategies for how we can face the challenges posed by climate change. The exhibition contains tools and instructions as well as incentives that can be created to ensure that society, or rather humanity, not only becomes aware of the immediate need for action, but can also immediately become a positively acting element of any response. Current projects and artistic works provide an active approach to this complex subject, which concerns us all. Together with creatives, we want to encourage people to act in a way that cares for the climate," says Lilli Hollein, director general and academic manager of the MAK.

Water, wind, sun for a clean energy future
The key to overcoming the climate crisis is the energy transition – away from climate-damaging energy sources to clean, renewable energy. The future belongs to hydropower, wind and solar power. Essential for this are clear and predictable policy conditions. To manage the energy transition and achieve the Austrian climate targets, renewables must be expanded by a total of 27 TWh across Austria. To maintain security of supply, grid infrastructure and energy stores must be expanded at the same rate. Michael Strugl: "The success of the energy transition is in the global public interest. We must therefore move away from the climate of prevention towards a climate of enabling. An important aspect of this is honesty, because the invisible, traceless energy transition will not happen if we have to expand domestic, renewable generation by 27 billion kilowatt hours to achieve the target set for 2030 – that is more than double electricity generated on the Danube each year." 
VERBUND expansion projects
VERBUND is investing more than half a billion euros in the expansion of existing pumped storage power plants in Salzburg and Carinthia: construction on the Reißeck lake plateau in Carinthia for the pumped storage power plant Reißeck II plus commenced in the middle of June 2021. In total, VERBUND is currently investing €160m in the modernisation and expansion of the Carinthian power plant group Malta-Reißeck, in order to be able to store the greater amounts of electricity produced from renewable energies as required.
The tunnel-breaking for the second major expansion project in the Kaprun power plant group took place on 17 September 2021: Limberg III, which has a capacity of 480 MW, will also be constructed entirely underground as a cavern power plant between the two existing reservoirs of the Mooserboden and Wasserfallboden. By 2025, a total of around €480m will have been invested in future-orientated electricity generation and storage – including a high degree of regional value added.

Acceptance through participation
A successful energy transition means not only overcoming concerns about reductions in comfort and prosperity, but also home-made hurdles, such as regulations that differ between countries or resistance to infrastructure projects aimed at protecting the climate. "We need local and national understanding for the need to expand the infrastructure when it comes, for example to constructing new wind farms and photovoltaic systems, the expansion of hydropower or grid expansion," says Michael Strugl. Consumers who opt for a sustainable lifestyle and careful consumption behaviour are making a real contribution to the energy transition. VERBUND therefore offers electricity generated entirely from hydropower, energy efficiency solutions as well as photovoltaic and electromobility solutions. "With us, people move from being observers of the climate and energy policy debate to being the power behind the energy transition themselves," explains Strugl.
Ingun Metelko Ingun Metelko

Company Spokesperson

Send email