Tyrolean population, clubs and nature conservation organizations against monster power plant – broad civil society alliance demands immediate project stop
Innsbruck (OTS) – Civil society is protesting again today in front of the Landhaus in Tyrol against the expansion plans for the Kaunertal power plant. “We call on the state government and Tiwag to stop the outdated and environmentally harmful large-scale construction project immediately!”, the citizens’ initiatives and community representatives from 20 affected locations in Ötztal, Inntal and Kaunertal agree together with “WET – wild water preserved Tyrol”. – supported by WWF Austria, GLOBAL 2000, Fridays for Future Innsbruck, Naturefriends Austria, Our Water Association, “Liveable Kaunertal” and River Collective. “The expansion of the Kaunertal power plant is not future-proof. In times of the climate crisis, up to 80 percent of the Ötztal river water would be diverted from the valley – that’s around 290 million cubic meters, seven times the annual consumption of Innsbruck,” says water expert Bettina Urbanek from WWF Austria.
Power plant expansion not feasible in an environmentally friendly way
The planned large-scale construction project would also flood the untouched Platzertal behind a 120 meter high dam. “We must now build a sustainable energy system that is good for people, nature and the climate. Destroying the ecologically important moors of the Platzertal for a new pumped storage power plant is not a solution. Healthy peatlands are one of the most important CO2 stores we have. The Tyrolean state government and Tiwag should finally focus on a nature-friendly energy transition in Tyrol,” says Viktoria Auer, climate and energy spokeswoman for GLOBAL 2000. At the price of massive destruction of nature, the energy actually produced would be much less than Tiwag claims, because the glacial rivers will carry significantly less water in the future due to the climate crisis, warn WWF, GLOBAL 2000, Naturfreunde Austria and Fridays For Future Innsbruck about the unsustainable energy strategy the Tiwag.
Project plans still inadequate even after 10 years
Due to inadequate planning documents, the expansion plans are currently not being publicly presented for environmental impact assessment (EIA) as planned. Once again, the Tiwag Group fails due to the poor quality of the submission documents, which it submitted for the first time more than ten years ago. “This project cannot be realized in an environmentally friendly way. There is therefore no need for any further expensive tinkering with the outdated large-scale construction project – state politics should finally pull the emergency brake before even more time and money are wasted,” says Bettina Urbanek from WWF Austria. WWF and GLOBAL 2000 are demanding that the state government and Tiwag use the funds for an energy saving and photovoltaic offensive instead.
“The last undeveloped valleys and rivers, and in particular the few moors that are still intact, now have a highly explosive status. Destroying this irretrievably contradicts any serious concept of sustainability and of course cannot be justified by the insatiable and omnipresent pressure on energy production today,” reminds Leopold Füreder, regional chairman of Naturefriends Tyrol.
“We cannot destroy more nature and bogs because that would be a continuation of the very logic that led us into this crisis. Intact nature helps to cope with global warming by giving life more opportunities to adapt. A sustainable future is only possible if we give nature enough space and demand less of it,” says Sofia Scherer from Fridays For Future Innsbruck.
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Questions & contact:
Mathias Kautzky, spokesman for WWF Austria
+43 676 83488 287, firstname.lastname@example.org