Project Description

The centrepiece of our energy efficiency strategy

Mith the Vienna Model, Wien Energie has chosen to take a path that enjoys considerable international renown and which shows how a metropolitan area such as Vienna can be efficiently supplied with energy. The model combines the use of waste heat from power generation (known as cogeneration), the generation of energy from 800,000 tonnes of municipal waste, 200,000 tonnes of sewage sludge and 100,000 tonnes of industrial and commercial waste per year, the use of industrial waste heat and the use of renewable energy sources, thereby guaranteeing the supply of electricity, heating and natural gas to around 1.4 million customers and saving up to three million tonnes of CO2 annually by maximising efficiency.

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Project details

The Vienna Model is built on six cornerstones developed by Wien Energie back in the 1960s and which is constantly being expanded. The six pillars of the showcase model comprise expanding the use of renewable energies, decentralised energy generation, thermal waste recycling, efficient cogeneration activities and district cooling as well as providing services for energy consulting and to promote energy efficiency.

The production of energy from wind, solar, and hydropower, geothermal energy and biomass is being continuously expanded. Many photovoltaic systems are being built as citizen solar power plants, in which private individuals are able to invest. There is also an option of investing in wind farms. Since 2014, classic, green district heating has been complemented by innovative heating products with an even greater share of energy coming from renewable sources – such as through the combined use of solar thermal energy and natural gas, or the interplay between photovoltaic systems and heat pumps.

The energy generated by incinerating waste is used to generate electricity and heat. The four waste incineration plants operated by Wien Energie generate 1.8 million megawatt hours of district heating every year. Without a doubt, the best known of these is the Spittelau waste incineration plant which, with its striking façade designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, has become one of the city’s landmarks.

Wien Energie is responding to the trend towards customers producing energy themselves. Services – such as intelligent storage solutions or feeding surplus electricity into the public electricity grid – enable customers to generate and consume their own ‘green’ electricity easily and conveniently.

The waste heat from electricity produced in these power plants is used to generate heating. This highly efficient technology ensures the best possible use of the energy content of the fuels, reaching efficiency ratios of up to 86 percent. Using highly efficient co-generation technology requires a high-performance district heating network. Around one third of district heat that is fed into Vienna district heating network spanning some 1,200 km is produced from thermal waste recycling.

In order to be able to make good use of the waste heat produced by the thermal waste recycling plants, power plants as well as by industrial and trade activities even during the summer, we have been offering green district cooling since 2009.

Care is not only taken to ensure the highest possible degree of efficiency when producing energy itself. For many years now, we have been offering our customers a wide range of services to enable them to consume less electricity, gas and heating.

Further reading

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Sewage sludge drying

Wien Energie has developed an innovative process for the digestion, dehydration, drying and incineration of sewage sludge to produce environmentally-friendly district heating. 40,000 tonnes CO2 can thus be saved every year. An additional, environmentally-friendly advantage of the process is that phosphorus can be recovered.