2nd BESTGRID workshop "Innovation through Collaboration"

How can we agree on the dimensions of the future electricity grid? Where do we want to build new power lines? How can we assure that local impacts and concerns are fully understood and – if necessary - compensated in the best possible way? All these questions cannot be answered by one single actor. On the contrary, we need procedures, formats and tools that allow for closer collaboration and joint solutions of different groups of society.

Within the framework of the EU-funded project BESTGRID, grid operators and environmental groups work together in pilot projects on the ground. Collaboration takes place on a variety of topics, from the right approach towards stakeholder engagement, to nature conservation, or public information campaigns. What are the experiences gained? Which further areas of collaboration are of importance to build a grid that is suitable for a renewables-based future? And how should collaboration with other stakeholders be structured to make it successful?

The 2nd BESTGRID workshop was held on 23 October 2014 at Umweltforum in Berlin and investigated how to design better projects by actively collaborating. We shared some of the lessons learned from almost 20 months of collaboration and at the same time looked for lively discussions based on your experiences and insights beyond the realms of the project.  


09:00 Registration, tea & coffee

Welcome  | Olivier Feix (50Hertz) and Antonella Battaglini (RGI)
BESTGRID  - the project in a nutshell | Theresa Schneider (RGI) | Presentation

10:00 Collaboration on an emotionally sensitive topic: 50Hertz’s pilot project activities on electro- and magnetic fields
Dr. Dirk Manthey | 50Hertz | Presentation

10:45 Collaboration on nature conservation: BirdLife’s collaboration projects (1)
Eric Neuling | NABU (German BirdLife) on their role in the 50Hertz project | Presentation

11:00 Coffee break

11:30 Collaboration on nature conservation: BirdLife’s collaboration projects (2)
Ivan Scrase | RSPB (British BirdLife) | Presentation

12:00 Collaboration on the marine environment: National Grid’s pilot project on stakeholder engagement in offshore interconnectors 
Phil Pryor | National Grid | Presentation

12:30 Networking lunch

13:15 World café format with 4 different topics: 

Table 1:  The European grid: how to increase collaboration to identify PCIs
Impulse speaker: Olgerts Viksne | European Commission, DG Energy (Internal Market: Networks & Regional Initiatives)

Table 2:  Innovative collaboration formats: from participation to collaboration
Impulse speaker: Dr. Andreas Brandtner | VDI (The Association of German Engineers)

Table 3: The initial steps of good collaboration: How does it work on the ground?
Impulse speaker: Mátyás Prommer | MME (Hungarian BirdLife) 

Table 4: Joint development of community compensation measures
Impulse speaker: Kai Gildhorn | Mundraub (organization that implements biodiversity project as compensation measure of 50Hertz

15:15 Tea & coffee

15:45 Report of discussion session

16:00 Fishbowl discussion: Social responsibility in grid development discussions

  • Dr. Franz-Gerd Hoernschemeyer | IG BCE (Trade union for energy sector)
  • Walter Trautwein | „Schöpfung nachhaltig bewahren e. V.” (association to sustain creation)
  • Roman Hagen, Swissgrid

17:00 End of workshop

Photo gallery


Event partners



Theresa Schneider
Senior Manager–Communication

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t: +49 30 7677194 55

RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.