The European Parliament traditionally holds two plenary sessions in September in Strasbourg, during two separate weeks. In 2012, there was only one session in September and the October session was split in two: one session on 22 and 23 October and the other on 25 and 26 October. The 24 October was a day off for MEPs.
The EEF took this opportunity to organize for its members a visit dealing with relevant energy topics.
We first took the group – around 20 people – to the Euratom Joint Research Center in Karlsruhe: the Institute for Transuranium Elements. It is one of the few institutes in the world specialized in nuclear safety, radioactive waste management, control of the use of nuclear materials and radioactivity effects.
After a lunch in a typical restaurant, we visited the hydropower plant of Iffezheim, situated on the Rhine River. Equally owned by two of our associate members EnBW and EDF, it is the largest hydroplant on the Rhine River.
We were short of time to visit the agro-food plant situated close by and whose energetic infrastructure, currently based at 100% on natural gas, is being transformed in order to reach an energy consumption based on natural gas (25%), on geothermal energy (25%) and on biomass (50%).
Given the interest of the MEPs during the visit, the EEF is ready to repeat this visit or organize others in the neighbourhood, for example:
- A visit of the beautiful city of Freiburg im Breisgau, the sunniest city in Germany, dedicated to renewable energies and whose architecture integrates solar panels.
- A visit of a sawmill (40 km West of Strasbourg). It is the biggest sawmill processing resinous trees in France. It is equipped with a factory manufacturing pellets for heating.
- A visit of a geothermal site could also be envisaged: a lot of projects are underway in the region
- Finally, a visit of the nuclear power plant of Fessenheim, situated just across the Rhine, some 80 km South of Strasbourg, could also be organized.