Talking about switching to renewable energy is one thing, doing it is always another (and much more impressive) story. Munich based clean energy company Green City Energy has treated us to a tour of their inner city hydro power plant. Right in the best part of Munich, at the Praterinsel, they use the river Isar's water to power 2,5 MW turbine. This is enough to power about 4000 households.

The plant takes water from 150 meter higher up and drops it 12 meters down to the turbine. The entire plant is built underneath the existing river bed not to disturbe any of the wild life and nature on the island. The impressive engineering achievement, built in 2009-2010 after years of planning, is a collaboration of the Munich Stadtwerke and Green City. Producing about 10 million kWh annually, it will be profitable after only 13 years, which is not long in the life of a hydro plant. The obstacles were many, from nature preservation laws to fish passage facilities to robust technical challenges, but the team made it happen.

Today, the entire project is almost invisible, unless you climb down 20 meters to the turbine. While not for the faint of heart, this project writes a success story of making the dezentralized, clean energy revolution happen - right in the heart of our city!

Ralf Schroeder

Looking for ways to align my portfolio with my values and beliefs.