“Today, we should also look at biodiversity conservation, but not forget that the production of energy is useful for society.”
Interview with Stefano Basso from EAWAG and observer of the project recharge.green
1. After your participation in the Mid Term Conference of recharge.green in November 2013 you asked to become an observer, representing the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, EAWAG. What was your motivation?
I have been working on the topic of hydropower production for some years now. >>
Ensuring that biodiversity remains intact in the Alps will require long-term landscape planning, new ways of co-operating and improved measures from local to European level. Alpine regions, protected areas and NGOs have all set themselves the goal, in the context of the greenAlps project, of improving the framework conditions for a sustainable and efficient European environment policy. >>
Local residents need to be involved at all stages of the process when planning renewable energy development. This is one of the central outcomes of the recharge.green mid-term conference. All discussions at the conference are now summarized in a report. The conference took place in Brig, Switzerland, from the 12 – 13 November 2013. >>
Nowadays we deal with possible conflicts between renewable energy expansion and ecosystem service preservation in the Alps.
We have to ask: “How much energy could the Alpine region potentially produce and how much is still sustainable?”
Finding an answer to this question is the aim of the European Academy of Bolzano (EURAC) within the project recharge.green. >>
Where do we still have energy potential in the Alps? Can we use these sites for energy production in a sustainable way? The European Academy of Bolzano (EURAC) and the International Institute for Applied System Analyses (IIASA) try to answer these questions in close cooperation.
The most sustainable way of renewable energy production and the trade-offs with and among different ecosystem services have to be identified. >>
Foresighted, regional, objective – that is how participants of the “International conference on balancing renewable energy and nature in the Alps” wish to have the planning of the energy turnaround in the Alps. recharge.green is on the right track.
The recharge.green mid-term conference in Brig, Switzerland from 12 to 13 November gathered project partners, observers and over 40 representatives of nature conservation organisations, the energy industry, administration and science from all over the Alpine space. >>
Discussing global and regional problems in an interdisciplinary context is the aim of the European Forum Alpbach – an ideal stage for the novel approach of recharge.green.
At the European Forum Alpbach in August 2013, IIASA Director and CEO Prof. Dr. Pavel Kabat presented the project at a session entitled “The Potential of the Alps: Focus Sustainable Use of Resources.” In the context of other interdisciplinary research at IIASA Kabat showed early results calculated by IIASA’s modelling team. >>
New hydropower plants threaten the exceptional natural treasures of the Mis and Maè valleys in the Veneto Region. As pilot area of recharge.green, the Region tries to find a way to use hydropower sustainably, using a participatory approach.
Both watersheds include the Dolomite National Park and the Dolomite Unesco World Heritage Site. >>