The state of Vorarlberg is responsible for an ambitious goal with the energy autonomy of Vorarlberg 2050. By 2050, the energy supply of the province of Vorarlberg is to be completely covered by renewable energy systems. In order to prepare for the next decade from 2020-2030, not only was the process evaluated but also a scenario analysis was commissioned. For more than 1.5 years, the team of the Research Centre Energy around Prof. (FH) Dr-Ing. Markus Preißinger together with the Energy Institute Vorarlberg has been working on this scenario analysis 2030 for the energy system Vorarlberg.
After 10 years of energy autonomy in Vorarlberg, the absolute figures for final energy consumption look sobering: it rose by 2.7% from 2005 to 2018, but this moderate increase was achieved despite strong population growth, dynamic economic development and an increase in the number of cars. Moreover, according to illwerke vkw endowed professor Markus Preißinger, a certain optimism is justified for the coming years because "we have managed to decouple final energy consumption from CO2 emissions to a certain extent. This was possible because the expansion of renewable energies and in particular the expansion of hydropower, photovoltaics and biomass has been strongly promoted in recent years. In addition, the use of oil was reduced by well over half.
CO2 emissions were thus reduced by 5.5% in the reference period (see graph). In order to achieve Vorarlberg's ambitious goals (-40 % CO2 emissions in 2030 compared to 2005), the experts considered various scenarios. It turns out that this goal is possible precisely because Vorarlberg took the path of energy autonomy 10 years ago. Now it is important to translate the scenarios into concrete measures.
Markus Preißinger sums it up like this: The energy autonomy of Vorarlberg needs a fifth pillar in addition to the familiar four pillars, namely the cross-sectional pillar "courage". We have to be courageous to continue on the path we have taken, which was the right one. Especially at the present time, we should not allow ourselves a break. We must also be courageous in readjusting: to push on with the good things and readjust in those things where we still have some catching up to do. And we must also be courageous to define appropriate measures now; courageous measures, in fact, as we go about the next 10 years. Because I believe there is a consensus in the province of Vorarlberg, in politics, in business and in science, that we will continue to follow this path successfully over the next ten years.
The project has shown us how important scenario calculations are in energy system analysis. We want to use this competence in future projects with our partners.
-Markus Preißinger, Head of the project and of the RC Energy-