VERBUND, Austria's leading electricity company and operator of the Bavarian river Inn power plants, was pleased to have been visited on 13 March 2014 by Ilse Aigner, the Deputy Minister President and Bavarian State Minister for Economics and Media, Energy and Technology and from Marcel Huber, the Bavarian State Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection. VERBUND CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber greeted both state ministers together with his board of management colleagues Günther Rabensteiner and Peter Kollmann as well as the members of the hydropower management board Michael Amerer and Karl Heinz Gruber, they also greeted state parliament representatives, seven district administrators (Berchtesgaden, Rosenheim, Traunstein, Mühldorf, Altötting, Rottal am Inn, Passau) and the mayor of the city of Töging, Horst Krebes. There was a visit to the hydro power station of Töging, built roughly 100 years ago, which has 15 turbines and generators as well as a moated castle surge tank, which is unique in Bavaria. With this, the planned modernisation of the hydropower plant became the main topic, which should create lots of opportunities for the region's future. Along with the economic and regional political motivation, the gentle expansion of hydropower also constitutes a significant component of Bavaria's future of sustainable energy.
"The use of hydropower as clean, emission-free energy enjoys a long tradition here in Bavaria" says Bavaria's State Minister for Economics Ilse Aigner. The industrialisation of Bavaria without hydropower would have been unthinkable. "In future" the minister says, "hydropower will also play a significant role in Bavaria's power supply from renewable energy sources". Innovation is further required, in order to drive forward the environmentally friendly development of hydropower. "I therefore expressly welcome investment in the area of Töging and will fully support the development of new, environmentally friendly power plants."
"For roughly 100 years, clean electricity has been generated in Bavaria using the power of the river Inn", explains Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO of VERBUND. "Hydropower is the oldest form of renewable energy and is emission-free. VERBUND is committed to enhancing efficiency measures in its existing power plants: "The gentle development of CO2-free hydropower at existing sites helps guarantee a long-term energy supply and forms a significant component of the future of energy in Bavaria."
The Bavarian Minister for the Environment, Dr. Marcel Huber emphasises: "We would like a moderate, environmentally friendly development of hydropower in Bavaria. Innovative nature-friendly concepts offer a chance to unite ecology and economics. The foundations for the restoration and the further operation of the hydropower plant in Töging have been laid and the future of one of the most significant energy projects in the region has been secured. At the same time, several million euros of investment in ecological measures on the river Inn are guaranteed. The location of Töging is a key aspect in the energy transition and will become a local billboard for an environmentally friendly use of hydropower."
Seven district administrators were also present during the visit: Hermann Steinmaßl (Traunstein), Erwin Schneider (Altötting), Georg Huber (Mühldorf), Josef Huber (Deputy District Administrator for Rosenheim), Georg Grabner (Berchtesgaden), Michael Fahmüller (Rottal-Inn) and Klaus Jeggle (Deputy District Administrator Passau) as well as the mayor of Töging, Horst Krebes and the mayor of Aschau, Alois Salzeder. Also present were members of the state parliament Ingrid Heckner, Gisela Sengl, Michaela Kaniber, Claudia Stamm, Günther Knoblauch and Reserl Sem.
Hydropower as an Opportunity: Electricity from the Region to the Region
The planned modernisation of the hydropower plant in Töging allows for the gentle development of hydropower. With this project, more clean electricity from hydropower can be generated in future from the region for the region, so that the decentralisation of electricity production and regional independence can be strengthened. This investment in local hydropower, if it can be implemented, represents an important energy and economic incentive and an enormous opportunity for the entire region. Above all, the location around Töging, as comparative hydropower projects from VERBUND have shown, can profit financially from the modernisation, be it in the construction industry or in gastronomy and in retail.
A significant advantage of the location of Töging is the existing infrastructure (power plant premises, switching stations, power supply line etc.), which can also be used following the modernisation of the Töging hydropower plant.
VERBUND and Local Biodiversity
VERBUND takes care of the environment in Bavaria, which is impressively demonstrated by a variety of fish-friendly and ecological improvements undertaken on the river Inn in previous years. The electricity company was even awarded an environmental prize in 2013 for this from the Association of Hunters and Fishermen in the district of Rosenheim.
Furthermore, the ecological passage from Rosenheim to Stammham should be established by 2015: The necessary fish migration passages are currently in the planning stages or are under construction.