Sucessful referendum: a good result for Hamburg.
UNSER HAMBURG – UNSER NETZ [our Hamburg – our grid] demands
from the Senate: a proposel regarding transparent involvement of the public; an appeal to Vattenfall and E.on, urging them to abstain from legal action.
Via the referendum, a majority of Citizens issued an unambiguous political mandate to the senate and the city parliament, demanding return of the power grid, gas grid and district heating into the public sector.
Manfred Braasch, Theo Christiansen and Günter Hörmann, representatives of UNSER HAMBURG – UNSER NETZ: “We are highly satisfied with the result; not least because the opponent failed to succeed–despite a PR-campaign worth millions–in swaying the public opinion. Along with the result of this referendum, we see a strengthened civil society. Not just in Hamburg”.
In succeeding with the referendum, the main objective of the alliance UNSER HAMBURG – UNSER NETZ is achieved. Now it is the senate’s turn to come up with a proposal on how to ensure participation of the public in the upcoming process of returning the energy grids. The alliance states: “This referendum also demonstrates the eagerness of citizens to participate in the transition towards a sustainable energy supply”.
Senate and city parliament must now implement the voter’s mandate.
Proceedings on the concession for the electricity grid are due first. The city must found a public body that then must formally express interest. due mid January 2014. The actual application process begins subsequently.
Regarding the gas grid, the granted break option must be invoked. The city can terminate the concession ahead of schedule, effective from late 2016, and immediately commence with preparing the take-over in compliance with applicable law.
For district heating, a legal dispute regarding the contract from 1994 between the city and Vattenfall must be resolved. Vattenfall denies existence of a revoking clause the contract was meant to provide.
After the partially heated debates during the recent weeks, we’d appreciate to see focus move back towards the actual topics.
We expect that Vattenfall and E.on Hanse will respect the result rather than flooding the city with uncalled-for lawsuits.