15. Nov. 2013
The 17th IGA annual conference took place in November 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in Innsbruck and addressed the topic "Energy through cooperatives – an opportunity for the region". In his introductory speech, the IGA Chairman, Mr Arnulf Perkounigg, highlighted the fact that at this year's conference, IGA had dared to approach a topic that was targeted at a completely different audience to that of the previous conferences, and was not directly linked to the three main cooperative sectors as we know them in Austria, Germany and South Tyrol. The broadness of this topic also led to a change of the usual agenda, in that after seven short, initial presentations there was more time dedicated to the panel discussion.
Dr Rudi Rienzner was the first speaker and, in his capacity as CEO of the South Tyrol Energy Association, he was able to give interesting insights into the South Tyrolean concept of renewable energy. Afterwards, Dr Klaus-Alois Hein, Department Manager at the Bavarian Cooperative Association, delivered his speech about expansive measures and new approaches in Bavaria in relation to the much-discussed energy transition at cooperative level, triggered by the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011. The legal form of cooperatives has proved successful in this regard.
In his presentation about public participation in cooperatives, Dr Rudolf Binder, CEO of the Upper Austrian Raiffeisen Association, presented examples of implementation steps that have already been carried out, and highlighted two newly founded cooperatives. In the speech that followed, Prof Markus Dellinger, Legal Advisor of the Austrian Raiffeisen Association, then addressed and debated legal issues associated with the financing of public participation.
A practical, South Tyrolean example of the ultimately harmonious cooperation of community and cooperative was clearly illustrated by Mr Franz Kohler, from the Raiffeisen Association South Tyrol.
Mr Hubert Hußl, Mayor of Terfens (Tyrol), discussed the expectations of the community with regards to energy alternatives, by highlighting the development of energy supply through district heating in his community.
In conclusion, Mr Dietmar Müller, Auditor at the Auditing Association of Raiffeisenlandesbank Vorarlberg, dealt with specifics in relation to the funding for biomass power plants.
The panel discussion, which was competently led by Mr Ludwig Rabold, Auditor at the Styrian Raiffeisen Association, not only addressed the areas covered in the presentations, but also questions that had not yet been discussed, thus emphasising the diversity of the topic.
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Alpine cooperatives boast 100 years of success
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