"Energy Model Region" is a new RTI initiative by the Climate and Energy Fund of the Austrian Federal Government. The aim is to develop and demonstrated large-scale solutions for intelligent, reliable and affordable energy and transport systems of the future using innovative energy technologies and know-how from Austria. In the context of the initiative public authorities will invest around 120 million euros in three thematically different model regions by 2025.
The term "model region" refers to three spatially and thematically related project clusters that were already selected by an international jury in 2017. The "Green Energy Lab" region is pursuing the goal of multiplying the share of renewable energy sources in the areas of electricity and heat fivefold. The second region "WIVA P&G - Hydrogen Initiative Model Region Austria Power & Gas" focuses on the production and storage of hydrogen and on the respective combustion and power recovery. In this region it is to be demonstrated that a hydrogen-based energy supply can successfully be implemented in Austria. The third model region "NEFI - New Energy for Industry" deals with the decarbonisation of the industrial energy system using key technologies in order to contribute to protecting Austria as an energy technology related industrial site.
The energy technologies developed and implemented within the framework of the programme are intended to show that a sustainable and affordable energy supply based 100% on renewable energies is feasible. In addition, Austrian technology providers are to be strengthened and Austria's international position in the development of sustainable energy systems with a high proportion of renewable energies is to be further expanded.
Another aim of the programme is the active involvement of users and citizens in the planned activities. On the one hand, this serves to demonstrate the use of new solutions in the model regions as close as possible to real-world conditions; on the other hand, participation should contribute to build trust and acceptance for the new technologies at an early stage.
In short, in the coming eight years the focus will be on the development and demonstration of new energy and transport technologies, the development of functioning market niches in Austria and on an accompanying social debate on the resulting solutions and concepts.
More than 200 project partners from industry, science and research will be part of the RTI initiative and contribute to shaping Austria's energy future. ITA was a partner in the evaluation research team of the programme led by B.A.U.M Consult GmbH (Munich) and was responsible for the scientific monitoring of the entire programme. In the first phase of the project, the ITA team contributed to the development of the monitoring concept, which was subsequently further elaborated by the consortium leader.