Regional Biomass Action Plan (Upper Austria, Austria)


Starting point and idea

In Upper Austria renewable energy sources have a high political priority. The first energy strategy and action plan was adopted in 1994. A very important renewable energy source in the region is biomass which accounts for about 14% of the primary energy consumption. Recently, the regional government decided that by 2030 all electricity and space heating will be covered by renewables and obviously, biomass has an important role to play in achieving this target. The decision to go for 100% RES electricity and space heating was based on 4 scenarios: high, medium, stable and turning point for the sectors electricity, heat, transport and primary energy, which outline development of consumption, trends and potentials. In October 2007, the Upper Austrian government decided to go for the turning point scenario. 

Turning-point Targets 2030


100% from RES


No fossil fuels, reduce demand by 39%


41% less fossil fuels


65 % less emissions

For the development of the heat consumption, again 4 scenarios were developed, taking into account the following developments. 

Scenarios for Heat Consumption 


+0.5 %


+/- 0 %


-0.5 %


-2 %

Success through cooperation

To ensure acceptance and identification with the ”Energy Future 2030” strategy, for the first time a regional dialogue platform was established. It started with two information events including stakeholder workshops and online questionnaires with 200 and 150 participants. These more general information meetings were followed by workshops which are now carried out on a regular basis to develop the strategy further. Furthermore, the leading pellet companies in Upper Austria are partners in the activities. They actively contributed, for example, to the development of the pellets campaign and were partners in the event ”Pellets Forum”.


For the development of the scenarios, the analysis of RES potential was a very crucial factor. Here a thorough examination, accounting input from stakeholders, was undertaken and the scenarios included only growth rates of RES that are economically feasible and consider future economic growth.

Green Heat Potentials



District heating

38 PJ


63 PJ

Biomass heating

23 PJ


40 PJ

Heat pumps

1 PJ


2-3 PJ

Solar thermal

1 PJ


4 PJ

To achieve the targets laid down in the turning-point scenario, among others, a regional biomass action plan is being implemented. It comprises a mix of measures and is based on the Upper Austria "3 pillars strategy".

"3 Pillar Strategy" of Upper Austria




Very strict regulations for buildings (e.g. max consumption values for heating, obligatory RES in new buildings)


Support programmes



Continous campaigns

The rBAP includes amongst others a pellets campaign, including the development of a new website as a platform for all information and awareness raising activities (, new brochures, the school competition carried out within REGBIE+ as well as billboards all over the region.


Presently, there are 30,000 modern automatic biomass heating installations and 250 biomass district heating networks in operation in Upper Austria. The development in the heating market in the sector of single family houses – a very important sector with half of the population living there– was very successful: Oil-heating installations in new one family houses decreased from 36% in 1999 to 1% in 2007 whereas renewable energy heating installations increased in the same time period from 32% to 76%.


The biomass action plan is embedded into activities which can be applied anywhere else. Biomass heating is for example a very important topic in energy advice sessions (more than 15,000 per year) and energy audits for companies (about 300) of the O.Ö. Energiesparverband. Information events and workshops with stakeholders, an international conference (”Renewable heating and cooling”) and a Pellet-Forum were held as well as regular training seminars, e.g. training courses for energy advisers and energy management in businesses, a training course for the installation of large-scale pellet heating plants. All this is accompanied by intensive mediaactivities in regional press and TV, press releases and articles are issued continuously and frequently direct mailings are used to inform people about the ongoing activities.


O.Ö. Energiesparverband
Landstrasse 45A
4020 Linz, Austria
Bettina Auinger, Christine Öhlinger

Download 2030 Energy Future Scenario for Upper Austria


Potential and scenario "Energiezukunft Oberösterreich 2030" in German

Success Story provided by REGBIE+ partner