Shortly after the end of the reporting period, the Austrian Federal Government presented the key points of the eco-social tax reform on 03 October 2021; the reform is due to be phased in gradually starting in 2022. In addition to tax relief, this will mean greening of the tax system in the form of CO2 pricing for energy applications in buildings and transport and for companies outside emissions trading from mid-2022.
On 11 December 2020, the European Council agreed on the European Commission’s proposal to raise the EU’s collective greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 to -55% compared to 1990. The more ambitious climate target for 2030, which is to be understood as an intermediate step on the way to climate neutrality by 2050, was legally anchored in the European Climate Law on 21 April 2021. This enabled the Austrian Climate Act to enter into force by the end of June 2021, before the first specific legislative proposals associated with the “Fit for 55” package. The European Commission has so far excluded an assessment of the sustainability of natural gas from the delegated acts on climate protection and climate change adaptation and postponed it to a later point in time.
From today’s perspective, the asset value of the thermal generation plants is guaranteed, not least in view of the flexible way in which they can be used. Considering the age of the plants, it seems unnecessary to adjust the remaining useful life. The value of the gas grid is unimpaired against the background of the still pending final legislation with respect to natural gas, the possible replacement of natural gas with climate-friendly alternatives such as green gas, and the current regulatory environment. An adjustment of the useful lives is not necessary from today’s perspective.