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Germany

Germany

Certified as purely green

Independent green power trader Naturstrom is the first company in Germany to receive a "Category Gold" certificate issued by Verein Grüner Strom Label (VGSL), the association for green power labelling. To obtain a gold certificate, 100% of electricity generation must come from renewables plant, explains Ralf Bischof of Naturstrom in Düsseldorf.

VGSL is unique in that it only certifies companies that do not have stakes in nuclear power stations and that only invest in new conventional power stations where heat, generated along with the electricity, is used rather than lost into the atmosphere. Naturstrom, which started selling green power nationwide in January 1999 (Windpower Monthly, February 1999), now has over 3000 customers and ten renewables plant generators under contract to supply electricity -- in co-operation with two municipal utilities.

Including sales tax, Naturstrom power is priced DEM 0.0928/kWh higher than the average for conventional power, so that a household with a consumption of 2500/kWh a year pays about DEM 5 more a week (EUR 2.60) for green power. VGSL was set up by several environment and consumer organisations, including the German nature conservancy association, the German association of energy consumers and Eurosolar.

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