Environmental NGOs Attack the Good Guys – Against their Better Judgement

1/10/2012Vienna

Austria's largest provider from hydropower-generated electricity is a pioneer in the certification of origin of electricity. VERBUND is Austria’s largest electricity producer and as such not reliant upon imports.

Clear Fact

  •  VERBUND is pleading for the disclosure of all electricity quantities carried to Austria, per electricity importer, and is against expensive relabeling of imported “grey electricity”.
  • All of VERBUND’s private customers pay for a verifiable 100 % certified hydropower electricity “with family tree” and are therewith promoting renewable energy.

No contracts with nuclear power plants or nuclear power plant operators
VERBUND is fundamentally against nuclear power and in favour of the pan-European nuclear phase-out, since this technology cannot be controlled and is not conform to cost transparency. The company does not have any bilateral agreements with nuclear power plants or nuclear power plant operators. It is for this reason that VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company and one of Europe’s largest producers of electricity from hydropower, is defending itself against unjustified attacks from environmental NGOs.

Only 1.7 % of all electricity imports are carried out by VERBUND
This campaigning against VERBUND is ahead of the forthcoming energy summit (16 January), despite the fact that the company has voluntarily supplied data proving that VERBUND hardly imports any electricity to Austria. Only 1.7 % of the entire amount of electricity imported to Austria in 2010 was carried out by VERBUND. This was used to balance out short-term, seasonal fluctuations.

What clearly emerges from these figures is the fact that VERBUND is able to cover the electricity needs of its Austrian customers by means of Austrian power plants. It is therefore evident that the “proportion of grey electricity” listed among VERBUND’s industrial customers comes from Austrian electricity production, in accordance with the announced schedules. The allegation that VERBUND supplies “nuclear power” is thus untrue and is being firmly rejected by VERBUND.

VERBUND is in favour of transparent disclosure
It is currently not visible to the public that the remaining approx. 98 % “grey electricity with nuclear proportion” is imported to Austria. It is for this reason that VERBUND is pleading for the disclosure of all electricity amounts carried to Austria, per electricity importer. Who is actually importing quantities of electricity to Austria is only shown by the so-called “schedules” in the grid and not by contrived projections.

“We are in complete agreement with the environmental NGOs, that every kilowatt hour of electricity produced in Europe should be identified whilst still in the power plant. This serves for consumer transparency and guides investment in climate-friendly and nuclear power-free electricity production. The deceptive packaging through relabeling of grey electricity with certificates that do not originate from own production, as is currently the trend in Austria, is deceptive to customers and only make the electricity more expensive,” declared Wolfgang Anzengruber, VERBUND board chairman.

Only 5 % of Europe’s power plants are certified
At present, only 5% of the power plants in Europe are certified. “In our capacity as European pioneer, all 123 of our hydropower plants – with which we generate more than one fifth of our electricity – have already been certified for many years; we are generating so-called electricity with a family tree,” stressed Anzengruber. In the coming months, VERBUND will also get its wind and thermal power plants certified.

VERBUND is able to clearly prove to all private customers that they have opted for 100 % hydropower electricity. Business customers are also increasingly backing clean electricity from hydropower made by VERBUND. For many years these have included - among others - Greenpeace Energy, the energy trade subsidiary of Greenpeace Germany, which proudly references VERBUND hydropower plants such as Melk or Leoben on its website.

In the course of the anti-nuclear power debate, VERBUND is pushing for greater objectivity, comprehensible facts and more transparency.

Contact person VERBUND Corporate Communications

Office Corporate Communications

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