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Security of energy supplies for Europe

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Energy questions are nowadays matters of world policy.

According to data of the International Energy Agency (IEA) energy consumption will rise by 50 % till 2030, the CO2 emissions by even 57%.

For the industrial nations of Europe with limited resources the security of energy supplies will remain the Achilles heel of all economy and development prognoses.

The dependency of the EU on energy imports will rise from 50 % at present to 65 %. With natural gas the dependency on imports will even rise from 57 % to 84 % by 2030.

OMV Gastanks
Natural gas for 60 years

New pipelines are to safeguard supplies of natural gas to Europe. The planned Nabucco pipeline will transport gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe, bypassing Russia. Natural gas from Iran would thus become available for the Western European market directly – without compliance of the Russian energy group Gazprom.

There are also two other alternative projects: Southern Europe is to be supplied with natural gas via the gas pipeline South Stream between Russia and Italy. The Baltic Sea pipeline North Stream is planned from the Russian Portowaja Bay near Wyborg up to Greifswald on the German Baltic Sea coast. The Russian group Gazprom has a majority shareholding in both operating companies.

If one can believe the prognoses of the World Energy Outlook 2008 (WEO), the most prominent amongst the many energy prognoses worldwide, the remaining documented gas reserves amount to 180 billion cubic metres, which is sufficient for approximately 60 years at the production rates of today.

Oil as a drive fuel

As a rule, oil covers approx. 40 to 50 % of the primary energy demand in all EU member states and remains the number 1 amongst the energy sources.

OMV Pumpstation

The entire oil reser ves worldwide are sufficient to supply the world for more than 40 years with oil, based on today’s consumption rates.

The situation of Austria in the mineral oil question is more balanced than with natural gas, where 60 % come from supplies from Russia.

Although here too more than 60 % of the demand of 12 million tons must be imported, these supplies come from a total of 17 countries, which nearly all reach the refiner y in Wien-Schwechat via a pipeline from the oil port Trieste.

Austria as an electricity importer

Austria covers approximately three fourths of its electricity demand from its own sources (44 % hydroelectric power, 29 % thermal power, 2.5 % renewable energy). If this is to remain like that, quick measures are however required according to E-Control.

Das Verbund-Kraftwerk Greifenstein produziert jährlich 1,7 Milliarden Kilowattstunden Strom aus Wasserkraft

The annual increase of 1.8 % in the growth rate of electricity consumption must be compensated by the extension of power stations and networks. The energy suppliers have the plans and projects ready. Till 2017 new power stations should be able to feed 5,633 MW into the national grid, of which approx. 2,693 MW would come from hydroelectric power stations and approx. 2,940 MW from thermal power stations.

New subsidies for thermal renovation

Entrepreneurs and consumers are looking more and more for possibilities of lowering their energy costs.

Since the introduction of federal subsidies on 14th April thermal renovation of buildings has become an interesting measure. Private renovators can expect a maximum of Euro 5,000, companies max. 40 % of the costs of their investment.

TÜV AUSTRIA Consult offers a comprehensive service for this: The experts of TÜV accompany the client during the entire process of the project, from the project work via the processing of the subsidy up to the drawing-up of the energy certification.

e-mail: tuv-consult@tuv.at