Environment utility goes public

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The founding of the first power trading company in Germany to deal solely with electricity from renewable sources was announced at the Hannover industry trade fair last month. Naturstrom AG (NatAG), a public limited company based in Düsseldorf, officially started business on April 16.

Describing itself as an "environment utility," NatAG will sign power purchase contracts with the operators of wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal power stations and sell the power on to customers as "natural power." It will provide proof that all the electricity is sourced from renewable energies and can be provided on demand and "a direct price comparison with conventional power will be possible," the company says.

Once NatAG power is competitive, it will be traded on the open electricity market, but in the meantime it will be sold to "particularly aware" customers who will pay a surcharge for their green power directly to NatAG.

The difference between NatAG's operation and the green tariffs and solar power trade offered by traditional utilities is that NatAG intends to operate its own dispatcher station to provide green power from all kinds of renewable energy generation around the clock. The supervisory board of the new company comprises six people, each one a member of a renewable energy lobby organisation.

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