The Danube, Europe's second largest river, is the most important source of energy for VERBUND's hydropower plants in Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Vienna. It provides enormous amounts of environmentally friendly electricity from sustainable water power. The manifold use of the Danube means growing responsibility for us humans today: On the one hand, with the aid of the Danube we want to intelligently and cleanly satisfy the energy appetite of our modern lifestyle, and on the other, we want to infringe as little as possible on the Danube in order to preserve its natural beauty for coming generations.
The Danube covers our basic electricity needs
In our Danube power plants, such as Melk or Ybbs-Persenbeug, the constantly flowing river propels the turbines. The so-called run-of-river power plants cover our basic electricity needs. They cannot store the water, but rather are dependent on the amount of water flowing through. The water volume and hydraulic head are the essential factors in determining the energy yield of a run-of-river plant. If too little or too much water is flowing through the Danube, than all or most turbines stand still.
Lifeline, waterway, ecosystem and leisure area
The Danube is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people, is a waterway for shipping, and with its shores and backlands, it forms a unique ecosystem. Many residents and tourists spend their leisure time here. This is why VERBUND has stepped up its investments in the environment in the Danube area. In the past years we have established many new biotopes to help maintain biodiversity. In the next few years we will construct more fish by-passes, to make it easier for fish to detour around the power plants. And incidentally, at the hydraulic power stations we remove vast amounts of floating refuse and waste from the Danube – in Lower Austria alone around 3,000 tonnes annually, from tree trunks to plastic bottles to wrecked cars.
Current information on the Danube water levels
Information about inflows and flood warnings on the Danube and its tributaries can be found on the sites of the Water Level News Service Bavaria and the Offices of the Upper and Lower Austrian Provincial Government:
Water Level News Service Bavaria