• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Energy transition versus groundwater protection


Jun 24, 2023
Energy transition versus groundwater protection

He is a lobbyist for groundwater protection, says gerhard moser. The head of fernwasserversorgung franken is also a member of the board of the bavarian energy and water industry association (VBEW). Yesterday, the members of the association met in bamberg for their annual symposium. Today it continues. Around 360 companies are organized in the VBEW: from large-scale energy suppliers to municipal and cooperative companies to small family-run hydroelectric utilities. Electricity, gas, district heating, wastewater, drinking water – many VBEW members, such as the respective municipal utilities, offer everything.

In bamberg, however, it was and is only about one thing: water. "First of all, everyone is in favor of protecting groundwater", reports board member moser. But when it comes to economic interests, tensions arise. "Do you water people now also want to make the price of electricity more expensive??" A question he is currently being asked, reported moser. The reason: moser is sensitive when it comes to the construction of renewable energy plants and the increased cultivation of energy crops. "Do photovoltaic plants have to be located in the water supply’s narrower protection zone??", so his question. The same applies to wind power. The drinking water expert has no intention of taking any risks with biogas plants: "we don’t want them in this area at all." In its euphoria, the energy turnaround must not ignore the issue of groundwater protection."

In terms of energy crops, moser sees a problem in the rampant cultivation of corn. Corn is very heavily fertilized and treated with pesticides. In bavaria, the analysis values are still okay, but colleagues in lower saxony and north rhine-westphalia are already complaining about higher nitrate contamination. Moser recommended other energy crops such as hungarian pasture grass or miscanthus, which are already close to the yields of corn cultivation.

However, a dominant topic among the participants of the meeting is probably the pending EU directive on the opening of the water market. A bill that bamberg’s mayor andreas stark opposes, as do many of his colleagues in other bavarian cities. "We fear that this will open the door to privatization", said strong. Klaus rubach, managing director of bamberger stadtwerke, spoke of a threat to the provision of public services and reminded participants that only in very few countries in the eu is it really possible to drink water.


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