Continuous improvement through research, development and innovation is one of Energie AG Group's key focuses.

The goal of Austria's climate neutrality set by the Federal Government poses great challenges. Energie AG meets these challenges proactively and with great commitment, in awareness of its social responsibility for future generations and for ensuring security of supply to its clients in all areas of the Group.

This gives rise to questions regarding the electrification and decarbonisation of sectors, the increase in energy production from renewable sources and its integration into the existing energy system while maintaining the accustomed high level of security of supply. Digitalisation and automation are important tools for development and innovation. Good networking with cooperation partners from science and industry guarantees an intensive exchange with valuable mutual benefits.

In addition, the subsidiary Wertstatt 8 GmbH launched its activities in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, focusing on the development of digital solutions and innovative business models relating to energy and the environment as driven by customer needs.

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In fiscal year 2019/2020, research, development and innovation were pursued in the following projects (non-exhaustive list):

Gmunden HighTLink

This project seeks innovative solutions for the extraction of industrial high-temperature heat from the Gmunden cement plant in order to supply industrial, commercial and private customers with process heat and thus reduce greenhouse gases. In addition to flue gas treatment and the development and design of the heat extraction system itself, the use of alternative process media in the primary circuit is also being evaluated, research is being carried out into innovative and cost-optimised heat storage concepts and variants of high-temperature district heating transport are being tested.


In the Flex+ project, different strategies are being developed and tested in large-scale real-life operation in order to economically leverage the flexibility of remotely controllable prosumer components such as heat pumps, boilers, PV storage systems and e-mobility for system-beneficial services, such as marketing on spot and control energy markets and minimising balancing energy. Taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, algorithms enable the cross-market use and marketing of the available flexibility. Based on the research results, remuneration models and tariffs for prosumers are being developed and essential processes are being implemented on the prosumer side and in companies along the entire value chain.

Efficiency of the purification performance of sewage treatment plants in the removal of non-priority substances

At several sewage treatment plants, the purification performance in the degradation of non-priority substances such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides, drugstore chemicals, drugs and hormones is being analysed. Investigations are being made as to whether these substances trigger androgenic and anti-androgenic effects that increase the risk of masculinisation or feminisation of aquatic fauna. Waste water samples from treatment stages are being assessed, each using different technologies. The project is part of the monitoring of illegal drugs in waste water in over 90 cities worldwide. Partners in this project are the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, the Vodňany Fisheries and Hydrobiology Research Institute and the T. G. Masaryk Water Management Research Institute.


In the course of this project, Netz Oberösterreich GmbH (Netz OÖ GmbH) in cooperation with the Technical University of Vienna and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern as well as KNG-Kärnten Netz GmbH has developed reconstruction strategies for the electricity grid, paying special attention to the role of renewable energy technologies and their potential positive contributions. One particular challenge was the location of connections for renewable energy technologies, which are often found at the distribution grid level to which the transmission system operator does not have direct access. In the RestoreGrid4RES project, appropriate software tools were developed and implemented in the simulator at the grid management training centre. Among other activities, the Austrian distribution grid operators use the centre to train grid operators in measures for avoiding grid outages, and for ensuring grid reestablishment, in cooperation with the transmission grid operator. In the future, several of the functions developed in the scope of the project will be integrated into the grid control systems to support the grid operators in the grid reestablishment process with specific regard to renewable energy technologies, and with a view to providing meaningful information on potential next steps and their consequences.

110 kV earth fault detection and extinction

To help locate single-pole faults in the 110 kV electricity grid (earth faults), the behaviour of the 110 kV grid in the event of an earth fault was investigated by means of appropriate tests. In the process, new findings on the extinguishing behaviour and the characteristics of the earth fault current occurring in the extended grid were made. The suitability for operation of the earth fault detection method based on travelling waves, a prototype of which had already been installed in previous fiscal years, was thus demonstrated. This new technical development in the area of 110 kV electricity grids is expected to bring about operational improvements in the future, thus ensuring even greater security for people and supply.