Read about EUSEW16: How to improve stakeholder dialogue and develop best practices on the common road towards cleaner and more affordable energy

RGI has supported the European Commission in organising three sessions at the European Sustainable Energy Week that dealt with European energy infrastructure and related stakeholder engagement.

The first session focused on the future of the power system, technology scenarios and electricity infrastructure requirements. Panellists discussed the determinants of long-term grid planning. In the second panel, the question of how the benefits of “European grids” can be (better) explained to the public were addressed. In the final session, the audience learned about best practices on stakeholder dialogue for the implementation of grid infrastructure. 


11:00 - 12:30 The future of the power system: technology scenarios and electricity infrastructure requirements

Even though the European Union has decided on a set of long-term goals for the energy system, it is not clear yet how and with the help of which technology these goals will be achieved. However, planning and building new infrastructure takes years and requires long-term forecasting on how the future power system will look like. This session addressed questions, such as:

  • What are the determinants of long-term grid planning?
  • How would a more decentralised roll-out of renewables affect grid requirements?
  • How would a bigger roll-out of storage affect grid requirements? What about energy efficiency?
  • How can long-term grid planning address different possible scenarios? 

Moderator:  Antonella Battaglini | Renewables Grid Initiative

  • Roberto Zangrandi | EDSO for Smart Grids
  • Frauke Thies | Smart Energy Demand Coalition 
  • Jan Vande Putte | Greenpeace 
  • Luigi Michi | Terna Plus

14:00 - 15:30 European grids: benefits and challenges

Finalising the internal power market in Europe will only be possible if sufficient grid infrastructure is in place to physically transmit electricity beyond national borders. The TYNDP provides a bi-annual update on the actual grid needs to achieve this. This session focused on:

  • How can the benefits of “European grids” be (better) explained to the public? 

Moderator: Catharina Sikow-Magni | DG Energy, European Commission

  • Pieter de Pous | European Environmental Bureau
  • Leonardo Meeus | Florence School of Regulators
  • Milosz Mornot | DG Energy, European Commission
  • Irina Mihaela Minciuna | ENTSO-E

16:00 - 17:30 Implementing grid infrastructure: best practices on stakeholder dialogue

While there is a big consensus in society that some infrastructure will be needed to implement plans for a cleaner energy system, infrastructure projects on the ground often stir local public opposition. This session addressed questions, such as:

  • What are the concerns and needs of different stakeholder groups?
  • How can public opposition be addressed and minimised?
  • How can these projects be planned in a way that includes different stakeholders’ perspectives?
  • What are success factors of a stakeholder dialogue? Which pitfalls should be avoided?
  • Which role do new technological solutions (e.g. underground cables) play?

Moderator: Guido Axmann | Bourbaki

  • Ursula Hillbrand | DG Energy, European Commission
  • Birgit Schmidhuber | Justice and Environment/ Ökobüro
  • Jan Hildebrand | IZES/ INSPIRE-Grid
  • Sarah Lee | The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Milena Škrl Marega | Center for the Management of Participatory Processes


Antonella Battaglini, CEO
Renewables Grid Initiative

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Pieter de Pous, Policy Director
European Environmental Bureau

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Luigi Michi, CEO
Terna Plus

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Paul-Georg Garmer, Senior Public Affairs Manager

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Birgit Schmidhuber, Environmental Lawyer
Justice & Environment

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Jan Hildebrand, Head of Department Environmental Psychology

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Frauke Thies, Executive Director
Smart Energy Demand Coalition SEDC, Europe

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Roberto Zangrandi, Special Advisor
EDSO for Smart Grids

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Guido Axmann, Managing Director

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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.