ÖBB earmarks 1 billion euros for investment in renewable energy for traction power
ÖBB aims to invest around 1 billion euros through 2030 in renewable energy such wind, solar and water in a bid to generate an additional 280 GWh, the company announced last Friday at the presentation of its annual results.
The targeted 280 GWh roughly equals the energy usage of some 70,000 households. The investments in renewable energy is meant to solidify ÖBB 100-percent usage of clean energy for its traction power, which was secured with the revamp of the Spullersee hydroelectric power station in October last year.
The Austrian company has a total of nine hydroelectric power plants, with another one under construction. It can also rely on power generated by four partner power plants. In addition, ÖBB also operates 45 photovoltaic systems. Another 30 are slated for completion this year. The railway company also aims to enter into service its first wind turbine in 2022.
‘Back on track’
The investment in renewables was announced on the sidelines of ÖBB’s financial results. The figures presented on Friday revealed an 13-percent increase in passenger numbers 323 million. While this shows a positive trend, the number falls short of the 477 million registered in 2019. The transported freight volume in 2021 came out at 94,1 million tonnes.
ÖBB ended last year with earnings before tax of 170 million, a slight increase over the 168,5 million booked in 2019 but almost three times as much as in 2020.
“I am pleased that we are back on track and have been able to continue the economic success before the pandemic. This secures our ability to invest. It is the basis for rail expansion and the modernisation of our fleet and infrastructure. We want to invest 4,1 billion euros by 2027 in the renewal of our trains and buses alone”, ÖBB ceo Andreas Matthä said.
The company invested close to 3,7 billion euros in 2021, up from 3,35 billion euros in the year before that. The largest sum was directed towards the upkeep and expansion of infrastructure, as well as electrification of lines.