Implementing the European Grid Declaration - How can grids protect and enhance the environment?

In order for Europe to meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and successfully make the transition to a low carbon economy, large quantities of variable renewable energy sources will need to be integrated into the European electricity transmission network and transported across Europe to areas of demand. This will require both grid modernisation and expansion. Our challenge is to understand how this can be achieved while minimising the negative impacts on our natural environment, and where possible, delivering environmental improvements.

Under the guidance of RGI, a coalition of Europe’s 29 largest environmental NGOs and grid operators pledged to work in partnership to ensure that the goals of grid modernisation and environmental protection can be achieved side by side. The European Grid Declaration on Electricity Network Development and Nature Conservation in Europe (EGD) was publicly signed at the European Parliament in Brussels and handed over to EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger on 10 November 2011.

For the EGD to be implemented effectively, environmental aspects need to be taken into consideration at all stages of the development process from strategic planning to project design and delivery, and at each level of grid planning, including the European level. This raises a number of questions about how we can integrate environmental protection and enhancement into grid development most successfully, for example:

  • How can the full potential of strategic planning and environmental assessment be realised for minimising environmental impacts?
  • What is the role of the ENTSO-E ten-year network development plan (TYNDP) regarding environmental protection?
  • How can governments, regulators, and TSOs stimulate the rapid development of a grid that is in line with environmental protection principles?
  • What practical experiences with environmental enhancement exist in the grid sector?

All these issues were discussed at an RGI workshop in Paris in October 2012. 


09:30 Welcome
Jean Verseille, RTE
Antonella Battaglini, RGI

09:45 Renewables, climate and environment need grids
A renewable world needs better interconnections and smater grids
Reinhold Buttgereit, EPIA | Presentation

How to increasingly include European climate and energy targets in the Ten-Year Network Development Plan
Sébastian Lépy, ENTSO-E | Presentation

10:45 Coffe break

11:15 European policy should stimulate and ensure rapid grid expansion in line with nature protection legislation
Why the European Grid Declaration emphasises env. assessments and Natura 2000
Ivan Scrase, RSPB | Presentation

How can grid expansion protect and enhance the Natura 2000 network
András Demeter, DG ENV | Presentation

Can we streamline environmental assessments and use them more effectively at the same time?
Ric Eales, Collingwood Environmental Planning | Presentation

12:15 Case Studies (Part I): Environmental enhancement practice on the ground
Power to the People - Principles & opportuniteis for ecological enhancement & increased habit connectivity
Nick Droy, RSPB | Presentation

Ecological management of overhead lines
Katja Horenk, 50Hertz | Presentation

13:00 Lunch break

14:00 Case Studies (Part II): Environmental enhancement practice on the ground
The plant diversity under grid lines
Clémence Salvaudon, French Museum for National History | Presentation

LIFE Biodiversity - using electricity transmission network routes as active vectors for positive developments in biodiversity
Gaelle Vervack, ELIA and Elodie Jaussaud, RTE | Presentation

Reflections on offshore electricity grids and the marine
Magdalena Muir, Coastal & Marine Union | Presentation

15:00 Coffee break

15:30 Panel Discussion: How can regulators stimulate the rapid development of a grid that is in line with environmental protection principles?

  • András Demeter, DG ENV; 
  • Loretta Boman, OFGEM; 
  • Michel Badré, French Environmental Authority

16:40 SEFEP: Monitoring the implementaion of the European Grid Declaration
Kristina Steenbock, SEFEP | Presentation

17:00 End of workshop



Theresa Schneider
Senior Manager–Communication

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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.