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Hans Kronberger: “We need tax exemptions for self-consumption”.

Seven questions about the Austrian photovoltaics market for Dr. Hans Kronberger, President of the federal association Photovoltaic Austria (PVA).

Dr. Kronberger, in your opinion, how did the photovoltaics market in Austria develop in 2017?

The final official statistics haven’t yet been published, but we’re working on the assumption of 10% growth over 2016.

What volume do you expect to see over the coming years?

For 2018, we’re expecting newly deployed capacity to almost double from 2017, reaching around 300 MW, due to two legal amendments and a new support program which also covers storage systems.

Which market segments do you consider particularly promising at the moment and why?

The Austrian government has announced its aim to cover 100% of electricity demand using renewable sources of energy by 2030. So we’ll need to open up a segment for large installations. The annual deployment rates will then have to be quickly brought up to 1 GW.

What issue is currently in the spotlight in the Austrian PV market?

The focus is on the plan announced by the government to eliminate all tax on self-consumption. This should take place as soon as possible.

What role does photovoltaics play in the Austrian energy mix?

The federal association Photovoltaic Austria agrees with a study commissioned by the traditional electricity industry, which concluded that 14 to 15 GW of capacity need to be installed by 2030 in order to reach the government’s targets. That would correspond to a solar power share of around 20%.

What prospects do you see for e-mobility in Austria?

Austrians are keen motorists, with two Formula One World Champions and the Red Bull Racing Formula One team. E-mobility has a special appeal. We’re working feverishly on charging infrastructure. After a relatively slow start, we’re making up for lost time.

What European trends do you think are currently relevant for Austria and should be adopted there?

One of Austria’s specialties is building-integrated photovoltaics. The first specialist installation companies are already up and running, working on jobs around the world.