100% renewable energies for electric mobility is both feasible and meaningfull


New study by TU Vienna and AT Kearney commissioned by VERBUND

A current study conducted by Vienna University of Technology and AT Kearney, commissioned by VERBUND, reveals that electric mobility based upon 100 % renewable energies in Austria makes economic and ecological sense and is technically feasible.

However, the study compiled in collaboration with Greenpeace and the Climate Alliance also reveals that the right framework conditions must be created.

Positive economic effects arise from the saving of fossil energy imports, an improved foreign trade balance and domestic added value for renewable electricity production: ecological effects through reduced CO2 emissions, greater energy efficiency as well as more renewable energy technologies.

"The study examines, for the first time, how great the requirement for electricity through electric mobility in Austria will be by 2020 and 2030, respectively, and how this additional requirement can be covered by renewable production plants. In a further step, the economic and ecological impacts of the application of electricity were examined," explained the study’s author, Florian Haslauer of AT Kearney.

"The study clearly shows: electricity based upon 100 % renewable energies makes economic and ecological sense in Austria, and is technically feasible. The results of this study are of great importance since they illustrate that it makes a difference as to which kind of electricity is used for electric mobility, what effect this will have on relevant energy and climate policy goals and how the use of this electricity can be accelerated and guaranteed in a way that is as market based as possible," said Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO of VERBUND, commissioner of the study.

100 % renewable electricity: cumulated savings of up to 5.4 billion Euro through fewer crude oil imports by 2030

By 2020 and 2030, respectively, positive economic and ecological effects will result from the application of 100 % electricity through renewable energies: savings through reduced crude oil imports result in a cumulative effect of up to 5.4 billion Euro by 2030, with the simultaneous active promotion of electric mobility. An additional added value of up to 231 million Euro by 2030 is generated by the necessary development of production plants.

The application of 100% renewable electricity for electric mobility is also of central importance for the reduction of greenhouse gases. In the case of 100 % renewable electricity, there will be a reduction in the CO2 emissions of up to 1.3 tonnes. Furthermore, this results in a further potential saving of up to 723 million Euro by 2030.

Net energy saving effects through electric mobility

In 2030 it is envisaged that there will be an additional electricity requirement of up to 4.5 TWh. If the energy requirement is viewed as a whole, there will be a saving of 8.5 TWh of oil and petrol. This therewith results in a net energy saving effect – on account of the greater efficiency of electric mobility - of up to 4 TWh in 2030. In Austria there is still sufficient capacity to cover the additional electricity requirement by means of renewable energy carriers. The additional electricity requirement thus makes up a moderate share of a maximum 1.6 % of the renewable electricity production by 2020 or 6.6 % by 2030, respectively.

"Legislation must ensure that, in future, the electricity for electric mobility originates solely from existing and additional renewable energy sources. From an ecological standpoint, is only then possible for electric mobility to be justified if the electricity originates from sources that are free from nuclear power and that are environmentally friendly," urged Greenpeace director Alexander Egit.

"Since 1990, CO2 emissions in the transport sector have grown by 60 %. A carefully considered introduction of electric mobility in the automobile sector can lead to a greater improvement of the CO2 emissions in this segment. However, basic prerequisites for this are a sensible integration in the existing transport system and, above all, the supply from 100 % existing and additional renewable energy sources," said Peter Molnar, managing director of the Climate Alliance Austria.

The market model is decisive

"An important factor for a rapid implementation of electric mobility is that the purchase of electric vehicles is equally as attractive for private customers as it is for corporate clients. Here it’s a case of creating the optimum framework conditions and incentives. To this end, the present study provides considerable food for thought," said Alexander Struckl, managing director of General Motors Austria.

In order to ensure that 100 % renewable electricity is used for electric mobility, it is necessary to introduce a competitive market model with sufficient economic incentives. Three steps are to be implemented in the process:

1. Electricity for electric mobility must be made available outside the existing green electricity regime (feed-in tariff regime). Incentives for additional investments in renewable energies would thereby be created.

2. It is intended that the demand be stimulated in car purchases through tax breaks and tax elimination, respectively, and the focus be put on government incentives.

3. Also important are incentives to use 100 % electricity from renewable sources, through tax concessions for instance.

Thus, corresponding framework conditions are necessary for the successful implementation. The basis for this is the active implementation of the energy strategy, as well as a competitive market model that accelerates the development of business models.Goals and study design

The increasingly precarious parking space situation, the increase in traffic jams or the overall increase in traffic calls for a well considered integrated transport system, one in which electric mobility is also embedded. The goal is a resource-conserving and efficient mobility that also has the potential to make a positive impact on the environment and the economy.

Subsequently, the study "100 % electricity from renewable energies for electric mobility: effects, market scenarios and recommendations for action" concerns itself with the question of whether the making available of electricity for electric mobility from 100% renewable energy (hydropower, wind energy, photovoltaics) can be done in a way that makes economic and ecological sense and what are the positive effects resulting from this. Furthermore, it presents how the market design for the making available of 100 % "green electricity" should be developed in order to create incentives for the electric mobility user in the application of "green electricity".

The study takes a look at two scenarios: "Business as usual", in which only few or no market incentives are put into place, as well as "Energy strategy implementation", in which the development of electric mobility is actively promoted. Measures were, for example, fiscal and other purchase incentives so as to reduce the difference in price to that of conventional vehicles. 

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