With recent floods making headlines in Austria and Germany over the last few weeks, protection against flooding has become a widely discussed issue. Though they are rarely given a second glance, hydropower dams are a first line of defence against flood damage. The RENEXPO® HYDRO as part of the RENEXPO® Austria taking place in the Messezentrum Salzburg from November 28 – 30, 2013 will showcase a broad spectrum of topics surrounding hydropower.
Hydroelectric energy, along with biomass, is the most important economic branch of the renewable energy sector in Austria according to the Austrian Ministry of Life. Official statistics report that around 60 percent of domestic power production comes from hydropower. Hydroelectricity is not only valued as an efficient source of energy. Experts estimate that a third of the most threatening flood peaks in the Alpine region are reduced by hydropower dams. According to reports of the Austrian civil protection association (Zivilschutzverband), the reservoirs of hydroelectric plants hold back large quantities of water that can be withheld until the rivers and creeks downstream have the capacity to take in the excess water.
Under its new title “RENEXPO® HYDRO”, the hydropower portion of the RENEXPO® Austria has developed into one of the most important hydropower events for Austria, Germany and Switzerland and has grown to become the largest trade fair for small hydropower in the German speaking countries. “50 exhibitors are expected at the event from November 28 – 30, 2013 in Salzburg,” notes Jasna Röhm, project manager of the RENEXPO® HYDRO. “This year will feature our new joint booths ‘Innovation Pavilion Hydropower’, where innovative companies have an affordable opportunity to present their products and services and ‘Ecological Hydropower’ for planning agency, environmental consultants, public administrations, special interests and fish ladder constructors,” explains Röhm. Public bureaus, media outlets and special interest groups can present themselves at the “Hydro Point”. The RENEXPO® HYDRO is supported by groups such as the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Alpine Wasserkraft, the Vereinigung Wasserkraftwerke in Bayern e.V., the Landesverband Bayerischer Wasserkraftwerke eG, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Wasserkraftwerke Baden-Württemberg e.V., the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce and the Salzburg state government. Expert visitors at the event can also take advantage of the broad range of conferences, seminars and open forums for discussing and exchanging new developments. An excursion will offer visitors the chance to visit the new power plant Sohlstufe Lehen built by Salzburg AG.
On November 29, 2013 the 5th International Small Hydropower Conference will take place as part of the RENEXPO® HYDRO in collaboration with Prof. Bernhard Pelikan from the Institue of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. The event is known to industry insiders as one of the key trade conferences for the international hydropower sector. November 28, 2013 is a date full of seminars for the hydropower exhibition. Highlights of the seminar program include the seminar on “Water Compatible Hydropower Development/Fish Ladders”, the “Measuring, Control and Safety Technologies Operator and Planner Workshop” and the “Small Hydropower Pipes Operator and Planner Workshop”. In addition, the RENEXPO® HYDRO 2013 will present the first “Hydro Award” to distinguished players in the hydropower sector.
More information is available at www.renexpo-austria.at.