The State of Upper Austria

Population: 1.416.387 (2012)

GDP: 52.8 billion (2013)

Total GHG emissions (year): 22.641 million tons CO2e (2012)

GHG emissions/capita/year: 16 tons/ capita (2012)

The Austrian state of Upper Austria is the fourth-largest in the country by land area, and the third-largest by population. Upper Austria borders on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg, as well as Germany and the Czech Republic.

The state’s power sector derives more than two thirds (69.76%) of its electricity consumption from hydroelectric sources, with coal and gas as the other power sources (11.58 % and 8.7 %). Although non-hydro renewables are yet to play a significant role in the state, Upper Austria has set hugely ambitious renewables targets for its future.

The Upper Austrian Energy strategy "Energiezukunft 2030" sets targets for transformational climate actions over a number of sectors. By 2030, the state will look to source all electrical energy consumption and space heating through renewable power generation.

  • Key Targets / Successes

    Climate policy and GHG emissions reduction targets:

    Reduction of GHG-emissions up to 65% by 2030.

    The Upper Austrian Energy Strategy 2030 sets a target to generate 100% of the State’s energy for space heating and electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

    Most innovative climate actions and emissions reduction successes: 

    Although in the period 1990-2012 the population raised by 8.6%, the number of dwellings by 44%, the greenhouse gas emissions in households declined by approximately 41%. Higher energy standards in buildings and a shift to renewable energy sources and district heating were the main factors to be highlighted.

  • Current activities

    Renewable Energy:

    The Upper Austrian Energy Strategy 2030 sets a target to generate 100% of the State’s energy for heating and electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

    Renewable energy sources currently provide 80.7 % of Upper Austria's total electricity consumption and 44.5 % of its total heat consumption. Also, about 30% of its municipalities already use mainly biomass for heating.

    Energy efficiency:

    Not only was Upper Austria the first Austrian State to implement the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, but today, all new residential buildings must meet stringent energy efficiency standards. The key target for space heating is to produce as much heat from renewable energies as is consumed in Upper Austria by 2030.

    Upper Austria increases its expertise in energy efficiency through dedicated study programs and vocational training, for example, through its university courses in Green Energy Engineering and Green Energy Installation. The Government works intensively with both companies and citizens, offering expertise and training on energy efficiency, particularly on the refurbishment of buildings.

    Campaigns such as "Really Bright' and 'Efficient circulation pumps' help to raise awareness and improve energy efficiency in households. A special program to prevent “energy poverty” was successfully started. To foster innovation the Network for resource and energy efficiency was founded, to act as a cross-industry hub for manufacturing companies and technology providers, as well as promote holistically balanced energy budgets for future generations.

    For the companies that are active in this field, the Government of Upper Austria provides a special advisory program: Betriebliche Umweltoffensive. This program is a corporate environmental initiative that provides expert advice for companies on environmental issues. 

    Clean transportation:

    Upper Austria has committed to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels by 41% compared to 2005 levels within the transportation sector by 2030.

    Upper Austria has a strong car manufacturing industry, and its Automobile Cluster is the biggest Austrian automotive network. The Clean Motion Upper Austria program promotes the production of electric vehicles and was funded as a 'technology beacon' project by the Federal Climate and Energy Fund. The CMOmax arm project aims to produce 100% Upper Austrian-made electric vehicles; the cluster also works on the standardization of charging systems. 

    The Government of Upper Austria also subsidizes the purchase of EVs.

    Urban environment/smart cities:

    Since 2006, the E-GEM Program ('Energy saving communities') has encouraged Upper Austrian communities to propose their own solutions to make reductions to carbon emissions. Now, almost half of the State’s 444 Communities are implementing their own local energy strategies. Already leading the way, Upper Austrian Energy is a European forerunner in the roll-out of smart metering systems.

    Waste management:

    Upper Austria has reduced its CO2 equivalent emissions from waste by about 43% from 1990 to 2012. Organic waste is collected and treated separately, and recycling plays a major role in economy. 

    Sustainable land use:

    Organic farming makes up 13% of the agricultural area and a total of 10.7% of all farms. Forests cover 41.6% of Upper Austria and woodland coverage has been continuously rising since 1990. See Green Report of Upper Austria for more information.

    Innovative financing:

    Upper Austria has more than ten years of experience with a subsidy program for third party financing for renewable energy heating and for energy efficiency investments. Target group of this funding program are municipalities and the industry sector. 


    In 2013 Upper Austria was the first federal region in Austria to launch a climate adaptation strategy. The strategy will be regularly evaluated in combination with the national strategy.

  • More info

    Devolved powers and competencies relevant to climate and energy:

    Renewable energy technologies (biomass, thermal solar systems).

    Most important economic sectors:

    Upper Austria’s most important economic sector is its industrial enterprises, including a large steel production outfit. Accordingly, industry accounts for over half (58.3%) of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Other contributing sectors include transportation (18.2%), agriculture and forestry (9%), buildings (6.5%), power (6.4%) and waste management (1.7%).

    GHG breakdown by sector (%)













    Year: 2012

    Current power sector mix (%)


    11.58 %


    8.7 %








    6.37 %







    Year: 2013


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