Towards an energy-smart town

Renewable energy solutions in Amstetten
Published by Georg Priesner on 08.10.2013

Since it joined the Austrian Climate Alliance in 2000, the town of Amstetten in Lower Austria has been launching numerous projects on renewable energy sources. The mission of its newest trailblazing project is to supply the municipal energy provider (STADTwerke Amstetten) with heating power generated from heat produced in a sewage channel.

A project being absolutely unique in Austria, it earned the town the „European Heat Pump City of the Year Award 2013“.

In recent years Amstetten has received numerous awards, such as the award for the „Most innovative Austrian municipality of the year 2006“, in recognition of its efforts made in the „Amstetten 2010+“ sustainability campaign. To date, more than 50 projects in the following fields have been implemented during the campaign: green building and sustainable construction, renewable energy solutions, environment and quality of life, education and work. Along the so-called Ökoenergiemeile – a bicycle trail of 15 km length –there can be found almost all renewable sources of energy that are currently in Amstetten technologically and economically viable: two hydroelectric plants – one being in service since 1900, the other one using residual flows – a biomass district heating system, a combined heat and power plant, a biogas plant and several photovoltaic plants, as well as the above mentioned sewage water heat pump.

The only renewable sources of energy that currently can’t be used efficiently in Amstetten are wind power and geothermal power, as has been shown by a thorough feasibility analysis.

„Our goal for the future is to turn Amstetten into an energy-smart town. Three years ago, in order to achieve this goal, we elaborated together with municipal representatives, enterprises and citizens a vision for 2050, as well as a road map for 2020“, explains mayor Ursula Puchebner, demonstrating that the use of renewable sources of energy will definitely play a central role in future measures taken against climate change.