European Grid Declaration

Grid operators and environmental organisations team up to promote sustainable modernisation of electricity grids

Innovation and expansion of European power grids to unlock full potential of renewables

The unlocking of Europe's full potential for renewable energy via the modernisation and expansion of its power grids should go hand-in-hand with nature conservation efforts, says a coalition of Europe's largest grid operators and environmental organisations. The “European Grid Declaration on Electricity Network Development and Nature Conservation in Europe” was publicly signed by 24 inaugural signatories and handed to European Commissioner for Energy Günther H. Oettinger at the European Grid Conference on 10 November 2011 in Brussels.


In October 2011, the European Commission put forward a draft law making it easier to build and finance cross-border power lines, which are essential to making Europe’s energy system greener. The coalition of grid operators and civil society organisations supports Europe’s ambition to boost renewable electricity and cut carbon emissions.

A pledge to work together
The joint declaration aims to strengthen the coalition of stakeholders supporting grid expansion to integrate renewables and raise public awareness of this need. It also lays the ground for cooperation on specific pilot projects to develop best practice and improve the implementation of grid development in line with nature conservation objectives. The coalition also pledges to encourage transparency and address public acceptance.

Grid operators commit to helping meet Europe’s objectives to protect nature, for example by ensuring that risks to birds from power lines are minimised. At the same time, the NGOs commit to supporting crucial grid development for the integration of renewables from larger centralised and smaller localised generation sources.

Renewables-Grid-Initiative Executive Director Antonella Battaglini: "This declaration shows that Europe's energy and environmental commitments don't need to be in conflict - we can build grids fast for renew-ables and also protect nature. We need new alliances across society to acknowledge the challenges and to find acceptable solutions. We invite the Commission to use this declaration as a first building block for European guidelines on grid expansion and nature protection."

Find the full text of the Declaration on the right side.

Further photographs of the public signing can be viewed here

Inaugural Signatories (10 November 2011):


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