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Global demand for solar technology from Austria

12 June 2012

Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is currently home to the world's largest solar thermal plant. The technology behind this plant came from Austria.

In 2010 GREENoneTEC , the world's largest producer of solar thermal collectors, was commissioned to supply the collectors for what is currently the world’s largest solar thermal plant project. The plant recently went live following a 6-month test period at the newly built campus of the Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh. The plant has 36,305 square metres of collector surface and supplies hot water and heating to around 40,000 students.

The plant in Riyadh could be a stepping stone for GREENoneTEC to new megaprojects, for example in Chile. The company is in talks with copper mine operators in the Atacama Desert about solar plants which could be “significantly bigger”.

GREENoneTEC’s solar plant in Riyadh is just one of many examples of the powerful performance of Austrian companies in the renewable energy sector. In fact, when it comes to research and development in environmental engineering and energy, Austria is among the global leaders. For example, one in three solar collectors in the EU comes from Austria – exports account for 80%. In Austria itself there are around 5 million square metres of sun collectors – the fourth-highest collector coverage per head worldwide.