We must transition to a renewables-based energy system to achieve complete decarbonisation by 2050. Therefore, in the coming years, Europe must strengthen and expand its electricity grid infrastructure at both the distribution and transmission levels to accommodate the growing share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix. Without proper planning or mitigation measures, avian collision and electrocution caused by electricity grid infrastructure could pose a significant threat to specific bird species.
To address these challenges, it is crucial to implement the mitigation hierarchy – a set of guidelines meant to help grid projects prepare for impacts and aim to achieve no net loss of biodiversity. However, additionnal points must be considered to establish a truly bird-friendly electricity grid:
- Access to data on bird mortality, along with comprehensive technical details of grid infrastructure, is a fundamental prerequisite for comprehending the risks associated with existing infrastructure and inform effective mitigation strategies.
- Consistent funding for stakeholders to actively participate and contribute to projects promoting the development of a bird-friendly grid.
- Robust legislative frameworks at both national and European levels are imperative to safeguard bird species from collision and electrocution along infrastructure. Coordinated efforts are essential to ensure effective protection measures and promote biodiversity conservation.
Our webinar on Tuesday 20 February 2024, 14:30 – 16:00 CET, focused on these essential pillars through good practices from France, Slovakia, and Spain. The speakers were:
- Baptiste Doutau, representing LPO Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (a local branch of BirdLife France), introduced the open-source application 'Avifaune et Câble.' The app aims to gather data on bird mortality along power lines, including technical details and historical grid interventions.
- Two speakers presented their respective projects financed by the European LIFE programme to reduce bird mortality around grid infrastructure:
M. Paula Delgado from Tragsatec (technical assistance to MITECO, Spanish ministry of environment) introduced the legislative framework in Spain, which establishes measures for the protection of birds along the grid.
After the presentations, we had an open Q&A round for 30 minutes. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with Manon Quetstroey.