Wood: The key to a successful energy transition

Thanks to the natural environment in our country, Austria has excellent preconditions for facilitating an energy Transition.

"green jobs", "green econ­omy" and "green eu­rope"; these are the key features of a suc­cess­ful en­ergy transition- going from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. In terms of electricity generation from renewable sources, Aus­tria is among the lead­ing coun­tries in Eu­rope with roughly 13% of all electricity being generated from biomass.

En­ergy transition for cit­i­zens

Cur­rently, negotiations regarding how to shape climate and energy policy after 2020 on the European level are ongoing, with such a policy needing to reflect the views and concerns of ordinary citizens.

In its gov­ern­ment pro­gramme, the new Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted it­self to ac­tively sup­port­ing the creation of the “EU Cli­mate Strat­egy 2030”, and to push for an am­bi­tious global agree­ment on cli­mate change. This is because both agri­cul­ture and forestry are amongst the sec­tors that currently are, and will continue to be, worst hit by the im­pacts of cli­mate change, yet at the same time can aid in the fight against climate change through the provision of renewable sources of energy (i.e. from biomass).  

Pro­mote ac­tive for­est man­age­ment

Across the EU, only 60 % of the an­nual wood growth is used, which means that there is the potential to increase our consumption without compromising the idea of sustainability. It is im­por­tant for the Eu­ro­pean pol­icy to put both the improvement of infrastructure as well as the promotion of research and development in the forestry sector as high priorities

“Good heat grows back”

As part of the in­for­ma­tion cam­paign “Gute Wärme wächst nach”, run by the Bio­mass As­so­ci­a­tion, the gen­eral pub­lic were in­formed about the im­por­tance of using tim­ber for en­ergy in order to mitigate the effects of cli­mate change.

In addition to both TV and print adverts, as well as media cooperation, the construction of a com­pre­hen­sive in­for­ma­tion plat­form is planned. Its aim is to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on wood-fired heat­ers, in addition to having a value-added cal­cu­la­tor that com­pares the CO2 emis­sions and cost of dif­fer­ent heat­ing sys­tems. Also on the platform are interviews with experts about the benefits of using biomass as well as technical information, displayed in the form of ‘fact sheets’, on each individual heating systems.

The in­for­ma­tion cam­paign was launched in late Feb­ru­ary 2014.

The PR work fo­cuses on the is­sues of sus­tain­abil­ity, the car­bon neu­tral­ity of wood as a fuel, and the important role wood and biomass play in the en­ergy transition away from fossil fuels.

published at 03.07.2018, Kommunikation und Service (Abteilung Präs. 5)