Page 37 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
P. 37

Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation  37


How to better involve stakeholders when
planning new high-voltage power lines?

While many details of the future European
                     power system remain highly disputed
                     at national and European levels, one
                     parameter seems to be very clear to a vast
majority of policy-makers: the modernisation of the current
electricity infrastructure is indispensible for the further
integration of the European internal energy market as
well as the integration of increased shares of renewables.
However, the latest ACER monitoring report on PCIs
published in July 2016 showed once again: many projects
to further develop electricity grids are delayed – mostly due
to challenges related to the permitting procedure.

This phenomenon has been present in many European
countries over the last couple of years: it does not matter
whether they are called Monsterplyons (in the UK)
Monstertrasse (in Germany) or Monstermaster (in Norway)-
newly planned power lines are often not very popular. So what
can be done to better integrate the views, concerns and beliefs
of stakeholders into the planning and permitting procedure?

The interdisciplinary consortium of the project INSPIRE-         In the end, ETH Zurich validated the conclusions drawn
Grid, coordinated by RSE and comprised of research               in the other work packages with the help of different
institutes, TSOs and the stakeholder platform Renewables         workshops both including TSO staff and external
Grid Initiative, has been working together for the past          stakeholders.
three years to tackle this question. At the beginning,
the German research institute IZES took a closer look at         The final recommendations of the project will be published
different stakeholder groups that are normally involved in       in January and presented at the “Conference on Public
grid development projects – from citizens to environmental       Participation - State of the art approaches to stakeholder
groups, farmers to planning authorities. At the end,             engagement in electricity infrastructure projects” on 25
psychologists from IZES came up with a stakeholder map           January in Brussels. More information about this event, the
that captures their main findings (an interactive version can    project itself and all publications are available on the project
be accessed on the INSPIRE-Grid website). Also during this       website ( l
early project phase, social scientists from ETH Zurich looked
into projects, both in electricity infrastructure and other        Contact details:
industries, to identify and analyse existing best practices
in public participation and stakeholder engagement.
Researchers from Poliedra, Armines and RSE took a closer           Stefano Maran (RSE) – Project coordinator
look at different methodologies to include stakeholders  
during the consultation and decision-making stages, namely
multi-criteria analysis, Web GIS and life-cycle assessments.       Theresa Schneider (RGI)
In a second phase of the project, researchers collaborated
closely with the two TSOs Statnett and RTE in order to go
out into the field and collect data in three different case
studies – Aurland-Sogndal, Bamble-Rød (both Norway)
and Cergy-Persan (France). Social scientists from PIK and
engineers from Poliedra jointly conducted interviews and
tested assumptions on MCA, LCA and Web GIS.
   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42