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IEA Reviews Austria’s Energy Policy

IEA9 April 2014: A review by the International Energy Agency (IEA) gives Austria high marks for its integrated approach to security of energy supply, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The report, titled 'Energy Policies of IEA Countries – Austria 2014 Review,' analyzes the energy policy challenges facing the country and offers recommendations for further policy improvement.

The report highlights several important trends that have unfolded since the IEA's last in-depth review, published in 2008, including slow economic growth and an increased impact on climate policy on Austria's energy sector. It also notes the ongoing decarbonization of the economy and an expanded focus on the security of supply from oil to natural gas and, more recently, electricity.

IEA recommends three actions that the Government of Austria could take to achieve a more secure and sustainable energy future. First, it recommends the development of a post-2020 energy and climate strategy that integrates security of supply and internal market dimensions using domestic and EU-wide measures. It further notes the need for the strategy to be designed in the context of an EU 2030 framework on energy and climate. Second, it suggests that concerns over energy prices and costs should be addressed through the promotion of energy efficiency and greater retail market competition. Third, it calls for a continued drive towards cross-border integration of both electricity and natural gas markets, with special attention to cooperation with neighboring countries; investments in networks; optimization of demand response; and cost-effective integration of variable renewable energy supply.

In addition to annexes containing energy statistics and other supplemental information, the report provides targeted analyses in the following sectors: natural gas; coal; oil; electricity; renewable energy; district heating; and combined heat and power production. It also contains a section on energy technology research, development and demonstration, noting that public funding for these activities has tripled since 2007. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: Energy Policies of IEA Countries – Austria 2014 Review]