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Irish & British renewable energy professionals return from successful trade mission to Austria

2. December 2011

 The Austrian Trade Commissions in London and Dublin recently led a joint trade delegation from 20th to 23rd November 2011 to Austria to visit best practice renewable energy sites. The sixteen-strong group (eight from Ireland and eight from Britain) was drawn from renewable energy professionals in architecture, construction, engineering, facilities management and retail.  

The trade mission was structured with a mixture of presentations from Austrian renewable energy professionals, site visits and one-to-one meetings. The visitors gained new insights into innovative Austrian products and projects such as:

· The first supermarket to get the EU’s Green Building Certificate (Billa, Klosterneuburg);
· a 74-metre high office building known as the Power Tower in Linz, built to passive house standard;
· providers of solar systems (Solution Solartechnik), biomass heating systems (Guntamatic), heat pumps (Neura) and photovoltaics (Fronius);
· a cutting-edge commercial development (Energy Base);
· a research centre (Bioenergy 2020).

Austria has long been recognised a country of innovation and excellence when it comes to renewable energy and many of the world's leading eco energy solutions and products are developed by Austrian companies. Austria was therefore the perfect choice for British and Irish professionals who wanted to find out more about this industry. As expected, the programme was rich with informative activities and visits.

“Our British visitors know that the next generation of construction in Ireland will be sustainable. Austrian companies have accumulated 30 years experience in this field and are more than pleased to share their expertise – and products too of course - with British companies”, said Austrian Commercial Counsellor Georg Karabaczek

The Power Tower in Linz built to passive house standard.

The Power Tower in Linz built to passive house standard. 

It was agreed by all that the trip was a huge success. The feedback received from the Irish and British participants was very positive and once again demonstrates that trade missions are a very effective method of knowledge sharing and learning.

Oliver Griffiths, Director at Corporate Responsibility Consulting, commented at the end of the trip, “thank you all for a superbly organised and fun visit to Austria this week. The choice of locations was inspired, and the work that that those companies and individuals are doing both impressive and interesting”

Pete Halsall, the Managing Director of BioRegional Quintain Ltd said, “thanks for such a great tour and one of considerable interest and learning. I was very inspired to see some of these companies and how they have managed to progress in a tricky market with some excellent products and considerable forward potential.”