APG Steuerzentrale--304
07-10-2020
Power Supply Passes COVID-19 Stress Test
Plus: APG Investment program as turbo-boost for Austria’s economy
“After four months of the corona pandemic in Austria we can say that Austria’s electric power supply has passed the stress test and was not at risk at any given moment”, says Gerhard Christiner, APG’s CTO. The corona crisis presented various challenges which had to be overcome within a short period of time: the decrease of electricity consumption, the historically low electricity rates, power station capacities falling out of the market, altered working conditions (e.g. split teams or telework, etc.) with special challenges for the manned control centers and maintenance teams.

“This crisis showed us that as transmission system operator (TSO) we have to be prepared for unforeseen events anytime. This includes shortages of supply due to a lack of electricity generation or insufficient capacities for its transmission. Over the past few years Austria has become an electricity-importing country, which has repeatedly provoked critical grid situations. Thus appropriate general conditions for a secure power supply in Austria have to be part of the stipulations of an energy law package”, explains Christiner.

For the integration of renewables the grid has to be further developed and expanded to facilitate the transport of the electricity to the customers. The delayed grid expansion and the resulting capacity deficits already necessitate so-called redispatch (emergency) measures which have cost the Austrian consumers approximately 150 million Euros in 2019. A prompt expansion of the grid could help save the money and sponsor a total of 30,000 additional electric cars in Austria according to the recently adopted support program of the federal government. Crucial 380 kV-projects like the Salzburg line, the Weinviertel line and the Germany line will support the decarbonization of the energy system.

350 million Euros impulse for the economy

This year‘s investment of 350 million Euros is an important step in the development of APG’s grid capacities. “In addition, it is money well invested: with the decrease of the economic output at the beginning of the year, investments in the domestic economy are especially now very valuable because they are a true turbo-boost for the economy”, says Thomas Karall, APG’s CFO. In 2020 Austrian Power Grid will invest a total of 350 million Euros in the domestic economy. How much return-on-investment each Euro will bring, is revealed by the current ECONOMICA study. According to this independent study an added value of 205.7 million Euros will be generated in Austria. “With each Euro that is generated in the construction industry, another 2.4 Euro of added value are produced in other economic sectors. With every invested million a small business with about 9 employees can be created or saved“, explains Anna Kleissner, member of the managing board of the ECONOMICA Institute. A total of 167 million Euros will go directly and indirectly to local authorities in the form of taxes and other duties. Overall APG’s investments into grid expansion and renovation projects will amount to 2.9 billion euros over the next ten years.

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