Styria continues to develop its leading position in green technologies
Styria is further developing its position as the number one research and technology location in the green technologies sector. As part of the Energy Flagship Region initiative launched by the Climate and Energy Fund, the first tranche of implementation projects has been approved. Around € 31 million in funding are being made available for this purpose. Large scale flagship projects for energy transition technologies have been awarded for the first time under the Energy Flagship Region program of the Climate and Energy Fund. The three, theme based Flagship Regions have a strong Styrian presence and, in addition to funding, receive investment funds from the industry and the federal states. In total, more than € 90 million is being made available for innovative, future energy technology solutions.
“I want our children and grandchildren to inherit a sound environment”, emphasizes the State Governor, Hermann Schützenhöfer. “As a land of innovation, our region of Styria also ensures that our resources in the energy sector are handled sustainably and carefully. And as a partner of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s climate protection initiative, the Styrian Green Tech Cluster and our highly supportive companies make a valuable contribution to a good future”. Deputy Governor, Michael Schickhofer, also noted: “We need safe, green and affordable energy for all the people in Styria. As the leading, number one region in Europe for research and innovation, Styria offers a perfect environment for this. The projects in Styria create jobs in many parts of the region and help to modernise our State and safeguard it for the future.”
Styria takes on role of innovation laboratory for the energy transition
As the State Economics Minister, Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, notes, “Styrian companies and research institutions are among the pioneers in the further development of renewable energy technologies. This is underlined once again by the decision of the Climate and Energy Fund in strengthening the business and research location of Styria, as we have a significant impact on the future of energy supply”.
The State Energy and Environment Minister, Anton Lang, also noted: “In terms of achieving the aims of our Climate and Energy Strategy 2030, I am particularly pleased that the number one research region of Styria is so well represented here by its leading companies. Styria is the only region in Austria where all three flagship projects for the innovative energy transition are being implemented.”
Flagship regions with a strong Styrian signature
The Green Energy Lab is the largest of the three flagship regions and spans the federal states of Styria, Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland. The aim is to supply 100% green electricity and heat through the novel integration of biomass with solar, wind and hydroelectric power. The Green Energy InnoLab innovation laboratory, in Graz and Vienna, is getting customers and users involved in the research projects. For example, in one of the leading projects, around 25 partners will demonstrate the future of green and flexible district heating systems. The Green Energy Lab is supported by Energie Burgenland, Energie Steiermark, EVN and Wien Energie as well as the Energy and Environment Agency Lower Austria and the Styrian Green Tech Cluster.
In the NEFI flagship region, Montanuniversität Leoben provides support to industrial companies with the energy transition through greater energy efficiency and up to 100% use of renewable energy. Through this, NEFI is developing advanced digitization that is creating new opportunities to make the energy system and industrial processes more flexible. A central role is played by the NEFI_Lab, innovation laboratory, which is headed by Thomas Kienberger, a professor at the Montanuniversität. Further projects conducted under the supervision of the Montanuniversität are concerned with energy efficiency through the use of oxygen in steel making and the demand driven and grid aligned marketing of the potential for flexibility offered by industry.
The HyCentA, at Graz University of Technology, is playing a crucial role as the central engineering partner in the majority of hydrogen projects in the Austria-wide consortium WIVA. The focus of WIVA is on energy production from water, wind and sun and the use of green electricity and green hydrogen as energy sources for all types of industrial, transport and domestic applications.
Energy innovation “Made in Styria”
In the topical consortia implementing the projects across Austria there are around 100 partners involved from Styria, such as AEE, AVL, Energie Steiermark, Frigopol, Joanneum Research, Montanuniversität Leoben, Rotreat, S.O.L.I.D., Saubermacher and Graz University of Technology. By increasing the collaboration between business and research, this program will create more than 20 innovations in energy that are “Made in Styria”, for export around the world.