Green energy producers cheating with coal

Published on 16 November 2012 at 14:13


“Green energy providers wants to make coal,” leads Tageszeitung, punning on the German word for “coal”, which also means “money”. The Berlin daily, always fretting about environmental issues, reveals that the three biggest renewable electricity distributors in Germany – Lichtblick, Greenpeace Energy and Naturstrom – may soon be going for coal. In fact, all three buy electricity from the Austrian company Verbund AG, which since 2011 has been building a coal-fired plant in Turkey, while continuing to proclaim that its power remains “100% hydroelectric”.

This is highly embarrassing for the three German companies, notes Tageszeitung, citing studies that find that “the emissions from the Turkish plant exceed the limit values defined by the EU and the World Health Organisation.” For the TAZ, it’s time to act —

Whoever wants to remain credible as a green energy supplier should not be signing contracts with such companies – especially when the business plan of the entire company is based on positioning oneself as a moral leader.

The production of energy from renewable sources in Germany is also worrying its neighbours: “The Czech Republic intends to prevent the collapse of its electricity network and protect against surplus green energy production caused by erratic wind farms in the north of Germany,” writes Lidové Noviny. Because of the weakness of the German power grid, the Prague daily explains, wind farm energy produced in Germany’s north and destined for the south is routed via the Czech grid, putting its capacity under strain. To protect against power surges, ČEPS, which operates the Czech network —

… has decided to build a giant transformer near the border. It will not let more current onto the Czech power grid than the grid can support and […] will enter service by 2017.

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