Austria - Direct Uses




District heating









bathing and swimming



Ground-source heat pumps





Total thermal installed capacity in MWt


Direct use in TJ/year


Direct use in GWh/year


Capacity factor



Country Update: Balneology use of thermal water has a very long tradition in Austria dating back to the Roman times (e.g. Baden west of Vienna, Warmbad Villach, federal county Carinthia, and Bad Gastein, federal county Salzburg). At these locations natural warm springs are utilized, with the highest temperature of 47oC at Bad Gastein. In the 1970s some abandoned oil exploration wells were used for the production of thermal waters that were used at the spa resorts Loipersdorf and Waltersdorf in the Styrian Basin. The economic

success of these resorts boosted several exploration and drilling projects. Today a total of 27 spas are based on successful geothermal drillings, which were built after 1970 and represent a major economic factor in the region. Geothermal district heating projects are operating at nine locations in the country: Altheim, Geinberg, Simbach on the Inn/Braunau on the Inn, Obernberg, St. Martin on the Innkreis, Ried on the Innkreis, Haag on the Hausruck, Bad Blumau and Bad Waltersdorf. In addition, there are geothermal greenhouse projects and industrial operations at Geinberg. In the period of 2010 to 2014, five deep geothermal

boreholes were drilled for a total length of 15.6 km. A district heating scheme was established at Ried on the InnKreis in Upper Austrian Molasse Basin. Ground-source heat pumps have shown a steady increase since 2010.

Taken from: John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd
Published in Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2015 Worldwide Review

Total thermal installed capacity in MWt:662.85
Direct use in TJ/year3,727.7
Direct use in GWh/year1,035.6
Capacity factor0.18

Only seven deep boreholes were drilled in the country over the past year, all of which were used to supply heat for balneological purposes. No other geothermal projects were undertaken in Austria since 2005 due to lack of public support and low feed-in terriffs for electric power (7.3 cents/kWh). 
However, the number of ground source heat pumps has shown a steady increase with the estimated number of units at 50,000 having a capacity of 600 MWt and producing 800 GWh/yr. As in most countries the data on geothermal heat pumps are hard to obtain as only groundwater wells are documented with the authorities. Future projects are expected in the Vienna basin near the capital and in the Austrian Molasse Basin. Geothermal heat pumps are expected to increase with more than 50% of the new family houses to have units installed.

The various direct-uses include:

district heating (50.03 MWt and 602.4 TJ/yr);
greenhouse heating (1.80 MWt and 29.0 TJ/yr);
industrial process heat (2.15 MWt and 31.3 TJ/yr);
bathing and swimming (8.87 MWt and 185.0 TJ/yr);
geothermal heat pumps (600.0 MWt and 2,880 TJ/yr)

for a total of 662.85 MWt and 3,727.70 TJ/yr.

Taken from the paper by John W. Lund, Derek H. Freeston, and Tonya L. Boyd: "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2010 Worldwide Review"; published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010