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More Than 100% Electricity Coverage by Renewables Proves Urgent Need for Grid Expansion

The APG factbox in May documents exceptionally good production from renewables, setting new electricity export records. Again it becomes clear that the grid infrastructure is too weak. 

May (calendar weeks 18-21) was characterized by exceptionally good renewable production (5,190 GWh). Austria was able to cover its own electricity demand (4,101 GWh) on balance throughout May with renewable energy with hydropower accounting for 4,281 GWh (gigawatt-hours) or about 82 percent of the renewables. Compared to last year’s May, hydropower production increased by 31 percent while wind energy production (575 GWh) was as much as 57 percent higher compared to last year. 

Surplus of renewable energy leads to new export records

"Good production from renewable energy sources enabled Austria to produce a surplus of electricity, which meant that Austria was able to export electricity on every single day in May. This has not happened once in the last three years," emphasizes Gerhard Christiner, CTO of APG. "Especially in early summer, when it gets warmer, the importance of expanding renewables and thus the need for a high-capacity electricity infrastructure becomes very obvious." 

In May, the export figures showed one record value after the other. For the first time since September 2020 (with 65.6 GWh on September 2) the daily export volume reached a new historic high of 69.4 GWh on May 10, but the value was immediately surpassed on May 11 with 70.3 GWh. The highest peak value to date was reached on May 27 with 83 GWh.

Export capacity also set one record after another in May. The highest value of 4,484 MW from May 2021 was replaced by a new record high of 4,732 MW on the evening of May 17. During the night of May 24 to May 25 the value was surpassed again with 4,750 MW and again on the morning of May 27 with 4,960 MW. The peak to date was reached in the night of May 27 to May 28 in the 15min-period from 21:15 to 21:30 with 4,995 MW. 

No energy transition without a strong transmission grid

"The best generation from renewables is to no avail if the necessary infrastructure to distribute the electricity is too weak or non-existent. Unfortunately, the electricity produced could not always be transported to the West to the pumped storage power plants to be stored. This must be a warning signal to all of us: without a high-capacity and secure power grid, we will not achieve the goals necessary for a successful energy transition and at the same time suffer further economic disadvantages," Christiner clarifies.

In May, APG had to intervene in the scheduling of pumped storage power plants on 16 days because the grids were too weak to transport the electricity. A total of 18,320 MWh of potential storage capacity was lost due to the fact that the grids were too weak. 

To face the challenges of the future, to achieve the energy transition and to facilitate the electrification of businesses, industry and society, APG is investing around 490 million euros in the domestic electricity infrastructure in 2023 alone. Over the next ten years, a total of around 3.5 billion euros will be invested. In addition to the non-utilization of production potential, the lack of grid capacity leads to bottlenecks on the lines and requires emergency measures known as redispatch on an almost daily basis. This involves counteracting high line loads by means of the targeted use of thermal and hydraulic power plants. “Until the end of May such interventions have been necessary on 89 days. This causes costs that ultimately have to be borne by the electricity customers. Until the end of May the costs triggered by redispatch measures amounted to approximately 59 million euros. A strong grid with sufficient capacities would reduce the need for redispatch measures and the associated costs considerably. The immediate expansion of the grid infrastructure therefore has top priority“, emphasizes Thomas Karall, CFO of APG.

The current developments in electricity and energy prices as well as the geopolitical developments in Ukraine show how important a rapid and secure transformation to a sustainable energy system is. This requires immediate overall system planning, adequate capacities in the areas of grids, storage, production and comprehensive digitalization to exploit the flexibilities of all players in the system. All of this must be done immediately. Accelerating and simplifying approval procedures are key levers in this regard.

Responsible electricity consumption will remain important

Based on initial analyses, Austria's total electricity demand in the weeks of May amounted to around 4,101 GWh. This is a statistical reduction of 6.5 percent compared to the average of the years 2017 - 2021, which, however, must be put into perspective since an increasing number of solar self-consumption installations in Austria produce PV electricity which is used by consumers but not fed into the grid and is therefore not included in the statistics. 

According to Thomas Karall, it will be important to act responsibly when it comes to electricity consumption: "Saving electricity reduces CO2 and overall systemic costs, thus making a significant contribution to ensuring system security. The reduction of CO2 has to be pushed further. Of course, this also includes PV electricity to cover the consumption of households. In addition, the sustainable expansion of power grids, renewable production, and storage is still the order of the day."

Tips for saving electricity can be found at or on the Climate Ministry's page. With the APG Powermonitor, it is possible for the Austrian population to see the most effective electricity saving hours and thus make an active contribution to CO2 reduction and system security. The APG Powermonitor can be found at:

High grid feed-in due to wind strongholds in the east of the country

The trans-regional electricity grid of APG also enables the exchange of energy within the country. Electricity surpluses in individual provinces can thus be distributed throughout Austria to compensate deficits.

Due to the weather conditions in May and the associated good electricity generation from hydropower and wind energy, the provinces of Lower Austria and Upper Austria were able to generate a high energy surplus and make it available throughout Austria via the APG grid. Lower Austria was thus able to feed 532 GWh into the trans-regional grid, while Upper Austria provided 447 GWh. Vienna, with 206 GWh, had to draw the most electricity from the grid, along with Vorarlberg (195 GWh). 

APG continually keeps track of the development of the domestic electricity industry and regularly publishes diagrams at regarding the topics: energy exchange, energy consumption in Austria, energy consumption in Europe, import/export, electricity prices, etc.

About Austrian Power Grid (APG)

As independent transmission system operator Austrian Power Grid (APG) is in charge of ensuring the security of electricity supply in Austria. With our high-performance and digital electricity infrastructure and the use of state-of-the-art technologies we integrate renewable energies, we are the platform for the electricity market, and we provide access to reasonably priced electricity for Austria’s consumers and thus create the basis for Austria as supply-secure industrial and business location and place to live. The APG grid totals a length of about 3,400 km and is operated, maintained and continuously adapted to the increasing challenges of the electrification of businesses, industry and society by a team of approximately 733 specialists. Also in 2022 Austria had a security of supply of 99.99 percent and thus ranks among the top countries worldwide. Our investments of 490 million euros in 2023 (2022: 370 million euros) are a motor for the Austrian economy and a crucial factor in reaching Austria’s climate and energy targets. Until 2032 APG will invest a total of approximately 3.5 billion euros in grid expansion and renovation projects, which amounts to approximately 19 percent of the total of 18 billion euros which the energy industry will invest in the grid infrastructure over the next ten years.

Press contact


Christoph Schuh

Wagramer Straße 19 (IZD-Tower)
1220 Wien

Phone +43 50 32056230 Email
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