Erhebung einer potentiellen Energieunabhängigkeit Österreichs

Translated title of the contribution: A survey of Austria's potential energy independence

Maximilian Hofstätter

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


Austria¿s domestic energy industry is the backbone of society and faces the fundamental challenge of transforming energy supply in view of planned decarbonisation by 2040. Alongside the efforts to achieve the most sustainable energy supply possible, the question of potential energy independence is more relevant than ever given the global geopolitical upheavals seen in recent years. To demonstrate dependencies of supply flows, this master¿s thesis initially analyses primary and secondary energy supply in Austria. In particular, oil and gas supply as well as the composition of the electricity mix based on the respective energy sources are discussed in more detail. The second chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the potential of renewable energies in Austria, clearly distinguishing between theoretical and technical-economic capabilities. This analysis serves as a basis of evaluating options for energy self-sufficiency by comparing and contrasting various energy demand models and identifying potential supply gaps. In this context, common biomass gasification plants and other alternative biomethane production processes are described in order to better understand their predicted large-scale use. Similarly, the author briefly discusses the production of hydrogen, as it will play an essential role as an emission-free reducing agent in the iron and steel industry. For the practical part of the thesis, key findings for conducting expert interviews are derived from the aforementioned analyses. The interviews aim to discuss the feasibility of achieving energy self-sufficiency in Austria and the associated technical challenges, and were structured and conducted chronologically with seven experts from different fields by using an adapted Delphi method, whose underlying procedure is explained as well. This method makes it possible to incorporate major insights from each interview into the next in order to derive comprehensive and potentially critical findings. Finally, the results of the interviews are discussed and analysed in the context of a conversation with an expert from Austria¿s energy-intensive metallurgical industry, thus providing a consumer perspective as well. All experts interviewed unanimously agree that complete energy self-sufficiency, regardless of the future composition of the primary energy mix, cannot be achieved in Austria for various reasons. The only scenario that could be met realistically by 2030 would be on-grid electricity self-sufficiency over a calendar year. Regarding the future of renewable energy sources, expert opinions diverge considerably, whereas it is agreed that energy dependencies will continue to exist. This includes, for instance, the import of hydrogen required for the energy transition and the resulting need to increase diversification of dependencies from producing countries to avoid potential supply gaps, as previously observed with Russian natural gas.
Translated title of the contributionA survey of Austria's potential energy independence
Original languageGerman
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Posch, Wolfgang, Supervisor (internal)
  • Kraker, Philipp, Co-Supervisor (internal)
Award date22 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 30-01-2029


  • Security of supply
  • energy self-sufficiency
  • renewable energies
  • energy potentials
  • Delphi method

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