Vienna Airport has started building what will be the largest photovoltaic power plant in Austria, aiming to meet nearly a third of its annual electricity consumption with solar energy, the airport operator said on Thursday.
The plant will generate around 30 million kilowatt-hours of solar power each year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 7,000 households or 30% of what Vienna Airport uses in a year.
Renewable power has taken up a record share of global electricity production since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that a transition away from polluting fossil fuels could accelerate in the coming years.
The European Union’s goal is to increase renewables’ share of the region’s energy consumption to 40% by 2030, while Austria’s own climate targets include 100% renewable electricity production for its own needs and for export by 2030.
In the European Union as a whole, solar power supply reached 10% of total electricity production in the summer of 2021, independent climate think tank Ember said in August.
“Vienna Airport is sending a clear signal for the future,” Austria’s climate and energy secretary Magnus Brunner said.
The 24-hectare plant with over 50,000 solar panels will be commissioned in the spring of 2022, Vienna Airport said.