The goals of Austria’s “mission 2030” climate and energy strategy include the expansion of renewable energy gene- ration, a 36% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonised power generation by 2030. RAG Austria AG has the right strategy in place to play a key role in attaining these objectives. The energy transformation represents a paradigm shift towards greater sustainability, to be achieved by greater energy efficiency, fuller integration of renewable energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The desired reduction in energy consumption and shift in the energy mix towards more renewables does not simply mean conserving resources – it demands improvements in efficiency, and a sensible interplay of renewable and conventional energy sources. Its versa- tility means that gas – and prospectively “green gas” – offers a secure and afforda- ble supply of energy using existing infras- tructure (the gas grid, storage facilities, heating systems and power stations).
Gas is a flexible fuel for power genera- tion, heating and industry. Gas underpins financially viable, socially acceptable and rapid climate action.
RAG Austria AG sees itself as an energy storage and supply company with strong sustainability credentials. We are working towards the notion of an energy cycle society (carbon cycle).
The energy transformation can only succeed if security of supply is guaran- teed. The good existing gas infrastructu- re, including storage facilities, means that sufficient energy is always on tap when it is needed. Austria’s unique geological structures and its location in the heart of Europe put it in a position to underpin security of supply by acting as an energy storage leader. Over the past 20 years, RAG has conver- ted around half of all its gas reservoirs into storage facilities. The working gas capacity of more than 6bcm in place at storage facilities operated by RAG, used by domestic and foreign customers, corresponds to some 6% of the total EU storage volume. This proves the import- ant international transit and storage function of the RAG storage facilities in the centre of Europe.
In a situation of climbing global energy consumption, intensive research and major technological breakthroughs are essential if today’s climate change targets are to be met. Recent studies show that although extensive decarbonisation represents a considerable challenge, rapid technological progress makes it feasible, and it has a chance of being economically viable. These structural changes in the energy sector present an enormous opportunity for innovative technologies, services and ideas. For some time now, RAG has been working on promising solutions that respond to the changed situation with regard to energy policy and the energy sector.
RAG can use these solutions to contribute towards meeting the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.