Recognition of Hydro Power in Climate Protection


The importance of Austrian hydropower as energy source will increase also with regard to the implementation of the ambitious Kyoto goal and the EU Emission Trading Directive. According to Hans Haider, chairman of the managing board of VERBUND, this fact is not sufficiently recognized, however.

“If the CO2-free energy source of hydropower, which is so important for Austria, is not recognized adequately in the climate protection sector this would be absolutely counterproductive“, said Hans Haider, chief of Austria’s leading electricity company, at the annual environment conference of the Society for Ecology and Environmental Research in Jochenstein.

Due to the internationally excellent energy efficiency of the Austrian power plants and industrial plants and the huge proportion of renewable hydropower the total CO2 emission levels in Austria are far below average in Europe. Therefore the potential for reduction in this sector in the future is low. “Punishing the climate-friendly leads of the Austrian electricity producers and the industry instead of rewarding them as early action, as provided for in the Emission Trading Directive, cannot be the goal“, Haider appeals to the competent policy makers.

Haider also demands that Austrian investments leading to CO2 reductions comparable to so-called joint implementation or clean development mechanism projects abroad should also be rewarded with emission certificates. The VERBUND chief wound up by saying that “In order to create an investor-friendly atmosphere companies need a clear and uniform framework to be able to guarantee a high measure of security of planning and supply“.