The Inn is the energy source of the hydropower plants of VERBUND in Bavaria. Its water delivers enormous amounts of clean electricity from renewable hydropower. This relieves the strain on the climate and the environment: If the electricity from the Inn and the Danube were generated from fossil energy carriers, Bavaria’s CO2 emissions would be approx. 3 % higher.
The river covers the basic electricity requirement
In our hydropower plants on the Inn, such as Rosenheim or Töging, the turbines are powered by the continuously flowing river. The so-called run-of-river power plants cover the basic electricity requirement. However, they are unable to store the water, but rather are dependent upon the quantity of water flowing in. If too little water flows, the turbines must partially be taken out of service – the same applies for floodwater with large amounts of flotsam. When the flow conditions are too high, the performance diminishes on account of the declining drop height between the waters upstream and downstream from the power plants.
The Inn – waterway and energy supplier
Shipping has long defined the image of the Inn. From the Middle Ages, the transport routes led from Passau right through to Tyrol. After the period of river corrections in the 19th century, it was possible to harness the Inn for hydropower at the start of the 20th century. Thus, from 1919 until 1924, the first plant was constructed in Töging in the form of the Jettenbach/Töging canal power plant. Since then, the river has been continuously developed.
Even if the power plants primarily serve for energy production, their dams and dykes also make a valuable contribution to floodwater protection, something from which towns such as Rosenheim, among others, benefit.
The highest standards for energy and for the environment
The highest standards of our power plants guarantee a secure and reliable supply of energy. However, a prerequisite for this is the constant maintenance and modernisation of our plants. Through the renewal of the machinery or the installation of new hydroelectric generating sets, such as in the power plants of Wasserburg and Gars, we are able to raise the efficiency of existing plants without encroaching upon the fluvial landscape.
We give particular consideration to the environment when constructing new buildings. It was in this way that power plants such as Feldkirchen or Perach were designed, enabling many valuable areas of recreation and refuge to develop for man and nature. Rare plants and animals flourish in the habitat on the Inn. Through the careful cultivation of our dams and dykes it has been possible to create and maintain precious habitats. Unavoidable interventions in the river ecology are carried out in a manner that is as environmentally friendly as possible and in agreement with the \nature conservation authorities.
Last but not least, we haul enormous amounts of rubbish and flotsam from the river at our power plants – on average, some 18,000 cubic metres annually at the power plants from Rosenheim through to Stammham.
Specific environmental protection: renaturation of the Inn
The reservoir between Rosenheim and Feldkirchen features many conservation areas and biotopes. There, VERBUND has invested in the expansion of the riverbank and flood channel at Stephanskirchen and, together with ecologists, created semi-natural bodies of flowing water, wetlands and biotopes, as well as softwood and hardwood forests. Since then they have been home to numerous aquatic bird species and amphibians, such as the yellow-bellied toad, agile frog and common toad. The reservoir is lined by longitudinal dykes and flood levees, which represent optimal low-nutrient sites for herbs, such as valerian and orchids. This diverse habitat is also optimal for several species of dragonflies, butterflies and the rare sand lizard.