Last update:
2014-06-24

Remunicipalisation Energy Hamburg, Germany

Description:

In Hamburg, a number of public enterprises were privatized in the past. In particular, in the last decade they have been sold from fiscal policy considerations including the urban energy utilities (Hein Gas Hamburger GmbH (since 2003 E.ON Hanse), Hamburg Electricitäts -Werke AG (since 2002 Vattenfall). The new owners (Swedish government owned enterprise Vattenfall) focused on their investment in a new coal fired power station (Moorburg). Thereby the enterprise has counteracted, Hamburg’s ambitious goal to reduce its energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent over the 1990 level by 2020. The government of Hamburg could not prevent the new coal fired power station Moorburg. As a response to that the City government founded the Hamburg Energie GmbH (TAZ 2009). The 100-percent subsidiary of the municipal water supplier in Hamburg water has the target to regain, lost energy policy influence. Since 2010 there is a movement Our Hamburg, our grid. 50,9% of the citizens voted for a remunicipalization of grid and gas in a referendum on 22nd September 2013. According to the successful referendum, the city should compete in the 2014 reallocation of concessions against the previous concessionaire bidders Vattenfall (power) and E.On (grid). The licenses will be awarded by the City of Hamburg under the supervision of the Federal Network Agency and the Federal Cartel Office to the suitable candidates. Already, in April 2012 the SPD government has approved a remunicipalisation of 25,1% of the grid for Gas (E.On), district heating (Vattenfall), and electricity (Vattenfall).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Remunicipalisation Energy Hamburg, Germany
Country:Germany
State or province:Hamburg
Location of conflict:Hamburg
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Other industries
Specific commodities:Electricity

Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Coal fired power station Hamburg Moorburg - 1730MW (electric), 650MW (thermic)

Project area:755,260
Level of Investment:3,513,560,000
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:1,700,000
Start of the conflict:2007
Company names or state enterprises:NUON from Netherlands
Relevant government actors:Hamburg Parliament, Senate of Hamburg
International and Finance InstitutionsInternational Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) from United States of America
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (Nabu), Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), Greenpeace, Robin Wood, Climate Alliance Germany
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Boycotts of companies-products
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:For coal fired station Hamburg Moorburg: Mix of renewable energy installations, gas fired power station, and efficiency actions
For ownership of energy supply: remunicipalisation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:After the incident that the City of Hamburg could not prevent the coal fired power station Moorburg (2007) and other conflicts with the Swedish government owned electric utility Vattenfall the City founded the Hamburg Energie GmbH (TAZ 2009). Since 2010 there is a movement Our Hamburg, our grid. The protest against the Moorburg power station was heavily influencing the referendum on 22. September 2013, in which 50,9% of the citizens voted for a remunicipalisation of grid and gas network. Following the referendum, the city should compete in the 2014 reallocation of concessions against the previous concessionaire bidders Vattenfall (power) and E.On (grid). Also with regards to the coal fired power station Hamburg Moorburg, environmental justice organisations have won several lawsuits trying to prevent the worst environmental damage. For example Friend of the Earth has successfully sued Vattenfall because of abstraction of coolingwater from the Elbe River.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Federal Emission Control Act, EU Water Directive

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Arrhenius _2007_ Moorburg Alternatives Summary.pdf
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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Meta information
Contributor:Gabriel Weber
Last update24/06/2014
Comments
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