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Power plant expansion on the Lech at the expense of nature conservation?

Lech River Bavaria

The last undeveloped stretch of the Lech River in Bavaria/D is at risk from the construction of a power plant. © Reinhold Behringer/flickr

The Lech river in Bavaria/D is already being used on a massive scale for electricity generation, and only the stretch at Augsburg/D remains undeveloped. But even this section of the river could very soon become the site of a hydroelectric power plant. The expansion plans are not an isolated case; rather, they reflect a trend throughout the Alps, and one that is gathering momentum.
In a short feature by the public broadcaster Bayerisches Fensehen (BR), Karsten Gees of CIPRA Germany raises the alarm and highlights sustainable alternatives. In keeping with the demands of CIPRA he recommends upgrading existing plants and saving energy. The upgrading of hydroelectric power plants has shown that the measures adopted can result in a tripling of the electricity production and that an improvement in the ecological situation is also possible. CIPRA is also calling on the parties involved not to pervert the objective of energy self-sufficiency as an alibi for developing the last remaining stretches of near-natural waterways or unspoilt landscapes. These demands and further details on sustainable energy generation and use can be found in the CIPRA compacts on "Energy in Climate Change" and "Energy Self-sufficient Regions" at www.cipra.org/en/cc.alps (en/de/it/sl/fr).
The BR podcast is available at www.br-online.de/bayerisches-fernsehen.
Other CIPRA requests are available at www.cipra.org/de/cc.alps/ergebnisse (de/fr/it/sl)