Lower Austria, Austria's largest state, has announced that 100% of its electricity need is now met through renewable sources. The revelation comes just ahead of the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) to be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December.
"Lower Austria has become a model region," the state's governor Erwin Proll said during a press conference. "We have invested a lot in order to increase energy efficiency and expand [dependence on] renewable", he said, adding that a total of €2.8bn (£2bn, $3bn) has been invested towards eco-electricity expansion in the state since 2002.
Proll also credited "solidarity in social sphere" which helped the state reach this milestone. In lower Austria, over 300,000 people have "actively introduced" green technologies such as thermal insulation and photovoltaic power system, which uses solar energy to produce electricity, in their houses, the governor said.
Lower Austria now produces 63% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, 26% from wind power, 9% from biomass and 2% from solar power, according to an official release. With persistent production through renewable sources, the state government aims at creating more green jobs, increasing from the current 36,000 to 50,000 by 2030.
Austria voted against nuclear power in 1978 and 37 years later, the country's largest state has seconded the decision. "We set with 100 percent of electricity from renewable energy [which is] also a clear statement against nuclear power," the governor added.