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All Electricity In Austria's Largest State Now Comes From Renewables

The largest state in Austria now generates 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources of energy, its governor said Thursday. 

Lower Austria, which includes the country's capital Vienna, has a population of 1.6 million. That's roughly the same or greater than the population of 12 U.S. states and all but 4 American cities.

Erwin Proell, the state's governor, said that 63% of Lower Austria's electricity now comes from hydroelectric power. Another 26% is from wind energy, nine percent from biomass and two percent from solar.

"Since 2002 we have invested 2.8 billion euros ($3.0 billion) in eco-electricity, from solar parks to renewing (hydroelectric) stations on the Danube," Proell told reporters according to a report by Agence France-Presse. "Proell said the expansion of renewables has created 38,000 green jobs in the state, with the aim of generating 50,000 jobs in the renewables sector by 2030."

"As a whole, Austria produces around 70% of its electricity via renewables, the highest share in the EU," Quartz noted. "It’s blessed by a mountainous geography that makes hydropower—usually produced by damming rivers at altitude and then letting the water flow downhill—possible."

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