VERBUND is Austria’s leading power company and one of Europe’s largest producers of hydroelectricity. The company was established in 1947 in Vienna and has operations in power generation, transmission, trading and sales. Verbund has been a listed company since 1988, and is 51% government-owned. Approximately 90 percent of its electricity comes from climate-friendly hydropower, making Verbund a reliable supplier of clean energy in Austria and Germany. The remainder of the generation mix comprises wind power and solar thermal installations generating heat and power.
The energy sector is currently in the throes of a massive transition. Long established structures, based on central generators and decentralised consumers, are disintegrating. Decentralised power generation is gaining ground, at the expense of the traditional business model whereby energy is delivered to consumers. This is affecting the entire energy system, including the power generation mix, the networks that locally produced energy is increasingly being fed into, and the attitudes of consumers, who are becoming keen to produce and store their own energy. Larger-scale consumers, boasting increasingly mature technology, from heat pumps and photovoltaic arrays to local battery storage systems and electric vehicles, are also entering the picture. In collaboration with the Energy Institute at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Verbund is examining the economic implications of power to gas as part of the Underground Sun Storage project. A range of application scenarios will be explored and assessed.