The aims of Vorarlberg's energy concept are ambitious and yet achievable. As we all have something to do with energy in one way or another, we all have the opportunity of participating in this achievement, for example in the course of our everyday lives:
- when we take the bike rather than the car to work or shopping,
- when we turn off the shower while working up a lather,
- when we don't necessarily need 25 degrees in our living room during winter
and so on and so on.
And when we are doing something different, for example
- when we go on holiday – by train rather than car,
- when we build a new house – with good heat insulation and a solar system,
- when we improve our old house – with good heat insulation and solar system
and so on and so on.
a) Increasing the efficiency of energy consumption
Increasing the efficiency of our energy consumption is extremely important. The desired output should be achieved with as little energy consumption as possible. Existing potentials for increasing efficiency and saving energy should not be difficult to realise. This applies to all consumer groups and all types of use.
Of particular importance is the conversion stage from end energy to consumer energy and the efficient use of this. This is where the state has the widest scope for action. In the interests of a comprehensive approach, however, the upstream energy chain is also taken into account.
b) Increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources
Existing and reasonably achievable potentials of renewable energy sources are being harnessed. The proportion of renewable energy sources in the overall energy consumption is to be continuously increased.
c) Raising consciousness and changing behaviour
As well as the various technical options in the energy sector, a consciousness of individual responsibility for energy-related matters also plays an important role.
With the changes in behaviour realised by raising consciousness the consumption of energy is to be reduced and the use of sustainable energy sources increased even, in some circumstances, with higher costs for the consumer.
d) Promotion of sustainable mobility
In the are of transport the promotion of sustainable (economically, socially and environmentally compatible) mobility is being given utmost priority. This is being achieved in line with the push and pull principle by the development and implementation of suitable packages of measures with regard to the environment (public transport, cycling, walking) and individual transport and with the participation of all of the relevant parties. Given its strengths and comparative advantages, the Environmental Association must receive special promotion.
e) Supply security
An adequate energy supply must be ensured. Reductions in energy consumption and the use of regionally available renewable energy sources increase the supply security in the event of scarcities or supply bottlenecks.
f) True costs of the energy source
Energy prices should reflect the true cost of the energy source. This includes the costs incurred through the consequences for the environment of the recovery, conversion, transport and consumption of the energy source (so-called internalisation of external costs).
As this occurs mainly within a supraregional or international framework the State of Vorarlberg should put pressure on the federal government to realise this target.
The public sector, in particular, in its own investment and consumption decisions and in the design of its programs, must assume a role model function in this regard and fully exhaust the scope available to it.
g) Increasing the regional value added in the energy sector
In order to support a healthy regional economy, all energy-related measures put special emphasis on the possibilities of domestic value added as well as the creation and securing of jobs.
h) Supraregionally competitive energy prices
In the interests of economically sound energy policy, Vorarlberg's energy prices must also be competitive on a supraregional basis and must not impair the competitiveness of the regional economy. Equally, the use of renewable sources and conversion technologies which would lead to improved energy efficiency but which involve higher costs initially should be made competitive.
i) Reduction of CO2 emissions
Due to the climate problems associated with CO2 emissions, these must be reduced. The level of reduction is based on the international obligations, the regional circumstances and the regional scope for action. As the location of the CO2 emissions has no bearing on their effects on the climate, the CO2 emissions upstream of the last place of consumption must also be taken into account.
j) Reduction of toxics
Emissions of the so-called classical air pollutants are to be reduced. The aim is to use the best possible available technology with the lowest toxic emissions. In areas where air hygiene is a problem, the level of toxics must be given special consideration. The decision as to which energy source or which recovery, transport or processing options are to be used must take into consideration that toxics are also emitted in the recovery, processing and transport of energy sources. It must also be taken into consideration that an increased power demand will be covered in the UCTE-Verbund mainly on the basis of fossil fuel.
k) Provision of energy services
Ultimately, the end consumer does not consume energy (e.g. oil, electric current), but an energy service (e.g. warm room, bright room, motion, hot water etc.). In this respect new forms of collaboration between energy generators or energy suppliers with consumers, but also between service companies, appliance manufacturers and consumers are becoming increasingly common. The aim is to achieve the best possible efficiency in energy consumption. Such developments should be supported. A growing trend of energy suppliers becoming energy services providers is envisaged.
Appendix 3 of the Energy Concept 2010 contains explanations on how the individual quantitative targets were derived.
New renewable energies:
By the year 2010 the energy generation from new renewable energy sources compared with 1996 will be increased by 340 GWh or approx. 60 % to around 880 GWh in the following proportions:
- biomass: + 115 GWh to around 580 GWh
- solarthermal systems: + 140 GWh to around 150 GWh
- heat pumps: + 85 GWh to around 110 GWh
According to ElWOG, the proportion of current derived from new renewable energy sources (power from generation plants run on solid or liquid domestic biomass, biogas, landfill or sewage gas, geothermic energy, wind or solar energy) must reach a proportion of the overall electricity consumption of 3 % by 2005 and of 4 % by 2007.
In the year 2010 the energy consumed to provide room heating and hot water will be 10 % or 340 GWh below the reference scenario which envisages an increase in consumption between 2000 and 2010 of 1.8 % to 3,360 GWh.
The growth in electricity consumption will slow down and stabilise in the medium term. In the year 2010 the power consumption will be 3 % or 75 GWh below the reference scenario which assumes an increase in consumption by 11.5 % to 2,580 GWh for the period from 2000 to 2010.
Hydroelectric power generation is to be maintained at least at the present-day level. When there are signs of an end to the glut of electricity on the European market, we should examine the possibility of harnessing the environmentally compatible proportion of the existing potential of around 700 GWh/a.
Industry and large-scale consumers:
In the year 2010 industry and large-scale consumers will use 4 % or 70 GWh less energy than in the reference scenario at 1,722 GWh.
The public sector will reduce the energy consumed for heating and hot water in its own buildings by 2010 by 12 % or around 13 GWh compared with the reference scenario which envisaged 113 GWh.
The energy consumption in the transport sector in 2010 will be around 4 % or 95 GWh lower than the reference scenario at 2,440 GWh.