Event material online: Conference on Public Participation - State of the art approaches to stakeholder engagement in electricity infrastructure projects

Whether you call it Monsterpylons (UK), Monstertrasse (DE) or Monstermaster (NO) – the phenomenon is the same: very often and all over Europe, different stakeholder groups form and vocalise strong opposition to high-voltage power lines

Be it concerns over negative health impacts, possible consequences for the local economy or non-transparent decision-making procedures: there are many reasons why people question ongoing grid projects. However, industry and politics agree that the modernisation of the current grid infrastructure system is indispensible for the energy transition, system security and the integration of the European internal energy market.

So what can be done to incorporate these concerns and needs of stakeholders better into planning processes? How can different groups be better represented in decision-making procedures? And how can both project developers and researchers contribute to further improvement of existing tools?  

These questions were discussed at the “Conference on Public Participation: State of the art approaches to stakeholder engagement in electricity infrastructure projects”. 

The conference was part of the EU-funded project INSPIRE-Grid


09:30 Registration

10:00 Welcome
Stefano Maran | RSE and project coordinator of INSPIRE-Grid
Richard Hampton | project officer at the European Commission

10:15 Icebreaker/ networking exercise

10:30 Introduction to INSPIRE-Grid’s main lessons learned
Leonhard Späth | ETH Zurich

11:00 State of the art approaches to stakeholder engagement:

  • Patrick Devine-Wright | University of Exeter
  • Ursula Hillbrand | Secretariat-General, European Commission
  • Giulia Molinengo, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS) (on Demo Project with TenneT)

11:40 Coffee break

12:00 State of the art approaches to stakeholder engagement continued:

  • Ivar Lyhne | University of Ålborg
  • Alberto Eugenio Pirni | Scuola Superiore S’Anna Pisa
  • Peter Gosslar | Buergerinitiative für HGÜ-Erdkabel, Bad Gandersheim (“Citizens for hvdc underground cables”)

12:45 World café: introduction of discussion topics

13:00 Lunch break

14:00 World café 

  • Integration of formal and informal participation – moderation PIK
  • Participatory decision-making methods – moderation Poliedra
  • Outlook I: (How) can social science research interact with real life projects to learn more about potential of stakeholder participation? – moderation ETH Zurich
  • Outlook II: What are future areas of research interest? – moderation RSE

15:45 Coffee break

16:15 Presentation of world café results

16:45 Wrap up and outlook

17:00 End of the conference


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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.