Position statement regarding the current "trend" article
VERBUND is clearly distancing itself from the "trend" in statements, that the "increase of wind energy" will render the gas-fired power plant in Mellach a "losing deal".
The wrong conclusions have been drawn here and technical connections to energy-related economic facts have been made with an inadmissible causal connection. It is correct that gas-fired power plants are currently difficult to manage financially. This is, however, not due to the increase in wind energy, but in the divergence of the long-term orientated oil price indices of gas prices for pipeline gas and the (much cheaper) LNG gas traded on the spot market. This situation has existed for around one year, it is, however, temporary and will level out in the near future. Therefore, gas-fired power plants narrowly pay off from today's perspective, at the same time however, the need for balancing energy has increased rapidly, so that the future calculations are quite encouraging. The gas-steam plant in Mellach will only fully go into operation at the start of 2012 and the gas-steam plant in Klagenfurt is currently still in the approval stage.
VERBUND entirely stands by the development of renewable energy sources. As a market leader in Austria and European top player in electricity production from hydropower, VERBUND has to keep sight of a secure, reliable and forward-looking overall system. Gas-steam plants are ideal partners who can jump in and guarantee a stable basic supply if renewable energy sources dependant on the weather, like wind and the sun, should lead to there being too much or too little electricity in the power grid.
VERBUND is therefore looking at thermal production standards and, particularly due to the development of wind and solar energy, is investing more than was necessary before in thermal power plants, especially in gas-steam technology which is low in CO2 and highly efficient.
The renewable energy sources are strongly dependent on the weather and need energy partners, which can pick up and/or balance out excessive electricity (if for example there is too much wind but not as much electricity is required) and which are in the position to redistribute the energy and/or quickly "jump in" if there is too little electricity (e.g. little wind but high consumption) in the power grid.
VERBUND attaches great importance to the storage of electricity in the new pumped storage power plants and to the increase of the effectiveness of existing plants. The pumped storage power plants make the ideal partners for electricity from weather-dependent renewable energy sources, especially from wind and solar power plants, which provides Austria the chance to become "Europe's Green Battery" once it has further developed their storage capabilities in the Alps.