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.