Markus Achleitner, a member of the Economic Council, wants the energy transition to move more quickly. Voestalpine is developing an industrial-scale hydrogen project. He’s been the State Councilor for Economics, Energy, Europe, Regional Planning, Sport, and Science for the past four years.
“With the growth of 3.5 to 4%, we are starting from a high point. Full employment is present. However, 2023 will be a challenging year because of inflation, high oil prices, and geopolitical instability. Upper Austria is expected to experience modest development “says Achleitner.
“The amount of hydropower used to produce renewable energy in this state is 84 percent higher than any other federal state. There is not a single federal state where more biomass and solar energy are produced. Regarding wind power, we are fourth. In the energy transition, we are innovators. Given that our economy and industry are energy-intensive, this is surprising. But the train must accelerate faster. Because of this, we make investments everywhere.
A solar boom unlike any other has occurred. There were 3,800 photovoltaic applications when I first joined the state government in 2018, but there will be 50,000–60,000 this year, increasing waiting periods. People and businesses are now impacted by the energy revolution. We don’t need to spend a lot of money to buy each kilowatt hour that we produce ourselves “says Achleitner.
“Here, research is done at all levels. We are demonstrating our ability to create hydrogen in the voestalpine water research project. At voestalpine, we now intend to construct a sizable industrial-scale hydrogen pilot project for 80 to 100 million euros “says Achleitner.
“We are currently negotiating money with the federal government. Within the next two or three years, it should be put into practice. Here, we aim to carry out research on an industrial scale and demonstrate the production of green hydrogen, “says Achleitner.