On 2 July 2019, Sebastian Kurz, chairman of the new Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), and his party colleague Elisabeth Köstinger jointly presented their climate protection package. The goal formulated therein is to make the Alpine republic CO2-neutral by 2045. According to Kurz, hydrogen should play a key role in this process: “This is not only a clean alternative hope for the future in the field of mobility, but also a great opportunity for Austria to become the world’s number one hydrogen nation.
Part of this new H2-Ö-concept is the establishment of a hydrogen centre to attract the best minds and most innovative companies, especially from research and development, to Austria. In addition, the acquisition of H2 vehicles is to be promoted in particular and a nationwide H2 filling station network is to be established by 2025. 500 million is to be invested in this over the next ten years.
During his presentation, former Chancellor Kurz pointed out that Austria was one of the first countries to abandon coal-fired power and that more than 80 percent of its electricity is currently generated from renewable energies (especially hydropower). His next goal is therefore to achieve 100 percent clean electricity by 2030. On his website, Kurz also speaks out against tax burdens, since “a CO2 tax would affect the socially weaker, commuters and people in rural areas”.
In March 2019, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT), with the participation of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Technology (BMVIT), had begun drafting a nationwide hydrogen strategy. The then Austrian Energy Minister Elisabeth Köstinger had explained at the kick-off event: “In order to achieve our climate targets, we must make even more intensive use of all forward-looking technologies. In #mission2030 – the Austrian Climate and Energy Strategy – we outlined the way forward. With the hydrogen strategy, we are now implementing a lighthouse step by step. Only with companies and industry as partners can a successful energy turnaround be achieved. Renewable hydrogen will play an important role in this.” The strategy is to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of the year.
read more in H2-international October 2019