Limberg II und Kopswerk II, Austria
Hydropower from the Austrian Alps
With the help of pumped storage power plants like Austria's Kopswerk II and Limberg II, electricity from wind and solar plants can be reliably used in the power grids. These power plants store excess energy in times of low consumption and give it back again when needed. Pumped storage power stations are, in a sense, the backbone of renewable energy. Kopswerk II in Austria's Vorarlberg sets new standards. It can deliver up to 525 megawatts of peak energy into the power network in seconds, or receive up to 450 megawatts of unused energy from the network.
The power house orchestra
The pumped storage power station Kopswerk II was officially opened in a ceremony on 15 May 2009. Around 1 000 guests listened to the sounds of Vorarlberg's Symphony Orchestra who had brought their violins and cellos to the giant power house caverns. In the main building, there is sufficient space to be able to house Vienna's St. Stephen's cathedral. On the surface, however, little can be seen of the gigantic proportions, other than an entrance to the underground power house.
Hydropower in Austria
Water can be used to generate electricity without causing harmful emissions. About 60 percent of Austria's electricity is produced using hydroelectric power, with 37 percent coming from burning fossil fuels. The remaining three percent is produced by renewable energy sources such as the wind, sun and biomass.