Monday, September 2, 2013

Renewables co-op fights Vattenfall for control of Berlin grid

A Berlin citizens' group wants to wrest control of the city’s electricity grid in order to promote renewable energy. They accuse current operator Vattenfall of failing to seek alternatives to fossil fuels. 

Two young women stand together behind a lectern at the front of a crowded room in Berlin. Their audience includes energy experts, activists and curious residents who are here to find out about a new initiative to buy Germany's largest electricity distribution grid.

The grid is currently under the control of Swedish energy giant Vattenfall. But the people in this room say the utility has failed to embrace Germany's transition to renewable energy and they want to take over grid control. The contract between the grid operator and Berlin's government runs out at the end of 2014 and the two women speaking today - Luise Neumann-Cosel and Arwen Colell - have come up with a plan.

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