Whilst good practices in the field of energy and grid development are abundant (just see our work on Best Practices), an in depth understanding of these sometimes proves elusive, and thus they sometimes remain abstract concepts. To address this, RGI organises a series of open access webinars - designed to give a 'deep dive' into certain best practices - presented by relevant field experts, in order to bring diverse participants up close and personal with those driving the energy transition.

As well as serving as an interesting educational tool in a specific topic, these webinars also provide the opportunity to ask questions, exchange with others and to continue co-operation into the future.

Best Practice Webinar: Grid practices advancing renewables-based electrification

At this Best Practice Webinar, German TSO Amprion and Irish grid operators EirGrid and SONI showcased currently operating solutions to enhance renewables integration, reduce curtailment, and contribute to the transformation of the energy system – without building additional grid infrastructure.

Emma Fagan, DS3 Programme Coordinator at EirGrid, presented the award-winning "Increasing the RoCoF limit to +/– 1 Hz/s" practice. Marcel Ludwig, Network & System Engineer at Amprion, presented the "Coordinated reactive power exchange between TSO and DSO" practice. 

Grids, Gardens & Communities - Uniting the energy transition with community agriculture

This webinar in theBest Practice & 'Energy & Nature' series shone a light on practices which bring community agriculture, urban farming and cultural activities to the land around electricity grids and renewables infrastructure.

The speakers were Rolf Meier, from Agenda Hürth, Johanna Meier from the German Energy Agency (dena), Hans Christian Temp from the Brazilian NGO, Cidades sem Fome (Cities without hunger), and Byron Kominek - Owner and Manager of Jack’s Solar Garden.


Connecting Europe | Session Two of Connecting Energies training series

This session of Connecting Energies explored Europe's role in delivering a decarbonised future, with a special focus on electric grid connections between countries, or 'interconnectors'. Oana Langa, Policy Officer at European Commission, Directorate General for Energy, provided an overview of the Commission’s role in selecting and co-financing grid projects. Andrzej Ceglarz, Programme Manager – Socio-Energy Systems at RGI, examined how civil society can contribute to European grid planning. Hans-Christian Seeliger, Project Manager for Combined Grid Solutions at 50Hertz, and Angelika Grohmann-Wörle, Lead Offshore Development Germany at TenneT, each provided overviews of two European grid projects.

Connecting Renewables | Session one of Connecting Energies training series

This session of Connecting Energies presented the unique role electricity grids play in the energy transition and the positive impact that electricity infrastructure can have on biodiversity. Patricia Labra, Head of Network Planning at Red Eléctrica, and Convener of the TYNDP at ENTSO-E, provided an overview of integrating renewables into the electric grid and how grid infrastructure can provide flexibility and stability for the decarbonised energy system. Liam Innis, Manager - Energy Ecosystems at RGI, presented the relationship between electricity infrastructure and nature conservation, outlining how the grid can be used to enhance and protect biodiversity.

Bats and Wind Energy - Protecting bats around onshore wind farms

The seventh webinar of the 'Energy & Nature' series examined the issue of bat mortality around onshore wind farms and focussed on the solutions to reduce the risk for the populations while ensuring energy supply coming from renewables, essential to tackle the climate crisis.

We discussed with experts from the Dutch Mammal Society, French wind developer,  H2air, and an environmental consultant at KS Umweltgutachten GmbH. The latter colleague presented  Probat – a freely available tool used in Germany on operating wind farms that calculates turbine specific shutdowns for a bat-friendly operation of the turbines.

Fire Watch: How can the grid help to prevent wildfires?

The sixth webinar of the 'Energy & Nature' series investigated how proactive management of electricity grid assets, new technologies, and collaboration can help to prevent wildfires.

We discussed with expert speakers from the UMS Group’s ‘International Wildfire Risk Mitigation Consortium’; Terna's work on a monitoring system to increase electrical system resilience in response to climate change; and a Portuguese consortium including REN, University of Coimbra and whereness on a decision support system for the management and resilience of the grid.

Solar Ecosystems - Restoring nature alongside solar power

The fifth webinar in our 'Energy & Nature' series examines how solar parks, when properly sited, designed and managed, can create new opportunities to restore ecosystems, allow biodiversity to thrive, and overcome spatial conflicts.

With experts from NABU, SolarPower Europe and Wattmanufactur GmbH, we discussed guidelines, approaches and best practices on how to better use land to promote both renewable energy and biodiversity. Participation and interest was high - so much so that we will organise another related webinar in the Summer, this time focussing on Agri-PV.

Nature Inclusive Design Webinar Series - Enhancing marine life around the subsea electricity grids in the Dutch North Sea

In 2022 RGI and the Offshore Coalition for Energy and Nature's (OCEaN) launched a webinar series on Nature Inclusive Design applied in offshore energy and grid infrastructure for nature-positive outcomes. Our second webinar dove into recent NID measures applied in the Dutch North Sea and featured speakers from The Rich North Sea programme (a collaborative programme between The North Sea Foundation and Natuur & Milieu) and TenneT, the transmission system operator in the Netherlands.

Nature Inclusive Design Webinar Series - Belgian Energy Island

Properly planned roll-out of offshore wind energy and supporting grid infrastructure can provide opportunities to sustain the protection and restoration of European seas. One way to achieve this is the integration of innovative solutions such as Nature Inclusive Design (NID) alongside infrastructure.

With this in mind, OCEaN and RGI kicked off a webinar series on NID solutions applied in Offshore Wind Energy and related grids for nature-positive outcomes in 2022. Our first webinar looked at NID solutions that the Belgium transmission system operator (TSO), Elia, could apply in its offshore grid infrastructure (Energy Island) in the North Sea.

Wind & Wings - Protecting birds around onshore wind infrastructure

The potential risk for birds is a well-known issue that extends beyond Europe. Disturbance, loss of habitat, and direct mortality by collision with the blades can pose a real threat to some avian species. But proper planning and adequate mitigation measures can considerably reduce the risk for the populations.

The fourth webinar in our 'Energy & Nature' series on 23 November 2022,  organised with the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel, focussed on the challenge of ensuring bird protection around onshore wind farms and examine solutions to reduce the threat on the populations.

Best Practice Webinar: Pathfinder – Collaborative Energy Infrastructure Planning Platform

In order to accelerate deployment of energy infrastructure we need quick and reliable answers to important questions: where do we best place new infrastructure to meet the needs of an energy system based on renewables? How do we make sure route planning integrates all relevant data and ensures optimal outcomes for nature and people?

Developed by Swiss startup Gilytics, Pathfinder is a solution providing answers on how to tackle these questions – using a GIS Decision Support System to optimise energy infrastructure planning and design.

During our webinar on 22 November 2022, speakers presented the platform and how it can be implemented to integrate environmental, technical, and regulatory parameters, as well as stakeholder engagement in the planning process.

Grids for Life - Innovative approaches to Vegetation Management from the Iberian Peninsula

Grid operators must manage vegetation beneath power lines to ensure system security. Taking an integrated, ecological approach to vegetation management (IVM) can have diverse benefits for people, nature, and the energy transition itself. For example:

  • Native vegetation can provide valuable habitats for local biodiversity
  • Grid corridors can reconnect fragmented ecosystems at scale
  • Partnerships can provide new opportunities for rural actors
  • Less intensive intervention can reduce costs for grid operators in the long term
  • More ecological management and public engagement can boost acceptance of infrastructure

So, how does this look in practice? Our webinar from October 2022 invited Xavier Munill, Professor of Ecology of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB); Pedro Marques, Vegetation Management Coordinator of Portuguese TSO, Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) and Liam Innis, RGI's Manager - Energy Ecosystems, to discuss innovative practices in vegetation management around the grid from Portugal and Spain.

RGI-OCEaN-RSPB Webinar - Powering Healthy Seas: Accelerating Nature Positive Offshore Wind

Too often a forgotten wilderness, our seas are in fact a powerhouse for economic activity. The North Sea in particularly has been a hub for much of this activity, but this basin, once plentiful in wildlife and extensive reef habitats, is now a shadow of its former self.

The Offshore Coalition for Energy and Nature, the Renewables Grid Initiative and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) held an informative online discussion on the outcomes of RSPB's recent report 'Powering Healthy Seas: Accelerating Nature Positive Offshore Wind' on 29 September 2022. Presentations from Samuel Wrobel and Helen Quayle from RSPB were followed by input from key contributors to the report, including Juliette Webb on behalf of RenewableUK, and a Q&A session with the report authors.

Shared Airspace - Innovative Approaches for a Bird-friendly Electricity Grid

Be it a row of swallows along a power line or a watchful raptor atop a pylon, interactions between birds and the grid are a familiar sight. Unfortunately, this relationship is not always peaceful. Indeed, without proper planning or mitigation measures, collision and electrocution with power lines can pose a real threat to some avian species.

In the second event in RGI’s Energy & Nature webinar series, we heard from experts working at the intersection of energy and nature and learn about some innovative approaches to making the electricity grid truly bird-friendly. Speakers included: Eric Neuling, Bird Conservation Officer at Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union Germany (NABU), Dominique Verbelen, Scientific Officer for Birds and Amphibians at Natuurpunt, and Liam Innis, Manager - Energy Ecosystems at RGI.


Best Practice Webinar: Building a shared understanding of the energy transition between industry and civil society

Today more than ever, the energy transition requires a holistic, cross-sectoral approach to the energy system. For its recent projects, the Regional Renewable Energy Connection Schemes (S3RenR) and the “Energy Pathways to 2050” report, RTE established a successful stakeholder engagement process to get insights from all stakeholders involved and to build a shared understanding of the challenges ahead.

Based on these two RTE projects and the fruitful consultation processes with the NGO France Nature Environment (FNE) throughout the project phases, the best practice webinar intends to showcase how stakeholder engagement, implemented from an early stage onwards, can significantly contribute to building a shared understanding of the energy transition between industry and civil society.

Clarifying key environmental concepts for an ecologically-sound deployment of offshore wind in Europe

The impact that infrastructure will have on nature in the marine environment is of great concern and we need to find environmentally friendly ways to plan and deploy the necessary infrastructure while meeting biodiversity conservation and restoration targets. To achieve this, a common understanding of the key environmental concepts in policy discussions will support all sectoral actors in accelerating ecologically-sound offshore wind energy.

This webinar is based on the conclusions of RGI's discussion paper on Essential Environmental Concepts for the Offshore Wind Energy Sector in Europe published with contributions from members of the Offshore Coalition for Energy and Nature. The report author shed light on selected environmental concepts which are currently being used in policy discussions, position papers and statements concerning the rapid deployment of offshore renewables wind and subsea cables in Europe.

Nature Networks - How can the electricity grid help to restore fragmented ecosystems?

Vegetation management is a core activity in infrastructure maintenance. By carrying out this necessary intervention with nature in mind, via a process known as Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), grid operators have a unique opportunity to restore natural networks and enhance biodiversity. 

To kick-off our Energy & Nature webinar series, we invited experts at the intersection of energy infrastructure & biodiversity to discuss the potential of grid corridors to reconnect nature’s networks & enhance biodiversity.  The speakers were Dr. Miguel Ferrer (CSIC); Jean-François Godeau (Ecofirst - LIFE-Elia-RTE project)  & Michael Wahl, E.ON/WestNetz.

Best Practice Webinar: Matching generation and consumption in a smart renewables-based system

Figuring out how to match generation and consumption when solar and wind-based renewables dominate the system is one of the most discussed questions of the energy transition. Real-world lab project ‘SoLAR Allensbach’ has developed a solution based on intelligent sector-coupling that was presented during RGI’s best practice webinar ‘Matching generation & consumption in a smart renewables-based system’.

SoLAR Allensbach was also our winner of the 'Technological Innovation & System Integration' category of our 2021 edition of the 'Good Practice of the Year' award. We invited Stefan Werner, Solution Manager at Easy Smart Grid, who is the project coordinator behind ‘SoLAR Allensbach’, to present their approach and answer questions.

Best Practice Webinar & Study Launch: Offshore Biodiversity Data and Monitoring - What have we yet to learn?

In this best practice webinar we launched the RGI commissioned study "A Review of Biodiversity Data Needs and Monitoring Protocols for the Offshore Wind Energy Sector in the Baltic Sea and North Sea". Author Dr. PJ Stephenson presented his key recommendations and findings connected to potential impacts of offshore wind development on marine biodiversity.

The key takeaway from the webinar was that the harmonisation of data, indicators and monitoring protocols as well as more dialogue, exchange of lessons learned and collaboration among key stakeholders will enhance data-based decision making and help reduce the impacts of the offshore wind energy sector on marine biodiversity.

Best Practice Webinar: The Site Wind Right map – pooling data for optimal spatial planning, with The Nature Conservancy

In this best practice webinar we took a deep dive into spatial planning and the opportunities of pooling relevant data with the people behind the award-winning Site Wind Right map.

Site Wind Right was created by the global NGO ‘The Nature Conservancy’ (TNC) to help accelerate the deployment of wind energy in a way that helps people and nature thrive. The interactive online map uses GIS technology and pulls from more than 100 data sets on wind resources, wildlife habitat, current land use and infrastructure to help inform siting decisions across 17 states in the Central United States.

Powerlines & Birds: Experiences from electricity companies in the Mediterranean - BirdLife Middle East with Terna, RSCN and EETC

This webinar was organised by BirdLife Middle East with a view to shine a light on some of the initiatives taken by grid operators and civil society organisations in the Mediterranean region.

In this 2-hour webinar, inputs were given by Italian TSO, Terna, into their radar monitoring, nesting boxes, mitigation, staff trainings & open data approach; Jordanian nature organisation, The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), on their work mitigating the danger of wind turbines & powerlines in the Great Rift Valley - which won them our Good Practice of the Year Award 2020; and the Egyptian TSO EETC, on their initiatives to protect migratory birds in the region. 

Best Practice Webinar: Green Electricity Corridors - A lifeline for people and nature, with Ecofirst, Elia and RTE

‘Green Electricity Corridors’ refer to the space underneath overhead powerlines which, with proper management, can benefit local biodiversity and society.  Such management, known as Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), involves grid operators working within partnerships to create strategically-planned networks of natural and semi-natural areas, which protect vulnerable species, deliver important ecosystem services, benefit local populations and is far cheaper in the long run in terms of maintenance. 

In this best practice webinar, RGI gave the stage to some of the actors at the forefront of IVM implementation in Europe: Ecofirst, Elia and RTE.


Reducing the risk of bird collisions with high-voltage power lines in Belgium - Collaboration between Elia, Natuurpunt & Natagora

Combining the most recent knowledge on bird distribution, Belgian NGOs Natagora and Natuurpunt, together with national TSO, Elia, created a map to quantify the risk of bird collision with power lines for the whole of Belgium, enabling estimations of collision risk anywhere in the country.

In this webinar, Dominique Verbelen from Flemish NGO, Natuurpunt, presents the development of the practice.

Elering’s e-Gridmap - How can digitalisation optimise investment planning of new RES generation & grid integration?

Making the best possible investment plan that coherently combines renewables generation and related grid needs is one the big challenges of today’s energy system. Estonian TSO Elering has developed a tool that tackles this problem: the e-Gridmap.

Our webinar with Elering, took a dive into their digital tool for simplifying investments in renewable energy. In the webinar, we heard from a colleague from Elering and held an open Q&A session.

Nature inclusive design of offshore infrastructure - How can we design offshore systems to safeguard healthy marine ecosystems?

Our webinar, “Nature inclusive design of offshore infrastructure” was moderated by Johanna Meier, Manager - Energy Ecosystems (RGI), with presentations by and discussions with two practitioners closely involved in the search for solutions to ensure that healthy marine ecosystems are safeguarded in all offshore infrastructure development: Annemiek Hermans, Biological Oceanographer and Marine Environmental Project Manager, TenneT and Eline van Onselen, Marine Biologist, De Rijke Noordzee.

Fridays for Future / RGI / NABU Collaborative Webinar (in German): The Energy Transition and the Electricity Grid - Perspectives from Germany and Europe, May 2020

The webinar was moderated by Fridays for Future and had input by Antonella Battaglini, CEO (Renewables Grid Initiative) and Verena Bax, EU Energy and Climate Policy Officer (NABU). They discussed the changing development of the transmission grid in order to incorporate increasing shares of RES to reach decarbonisation, regulatory and environmental aspects of development. Furthermore, they discussed the need for collaboration, interconnectivity, fairness and local value and the balance between large and small scale RES infrastructure.

RGI / Fridays for Future Collaborative Webinar (in German): 100% Renewables - How can that work? Technical and political perspectives on the energy transition, March 2020

The webinar was moderated by Fridays for Future and featured input by colleagues from two RGI Members - Niels Ehlers, Head of Concept and System Strategy (50Hertz) and Kai Bergmann, Advisor - German Low-Carbon Policy (Germanwatch). They respectively discussed the technical and political viability of a 100% renewables-based energy system in Germany.

CAN Europe: The Ten Year Network Development Plans

In this presentation, Jörg Mühlenhoff from the Climate Action Network Europe gave explanations on the processes of the TYNDP scenarios, the technology assumptions made therein and the different scenarios contructed.

European Environmental Bureau: The Role of Gas in the TYNDP Scenario

In this presentation, Jonathan Bonadio, Policy Officer for Renewables, Climate and Grids at EEB gave the context on the role of gas in Europe's current energy mix and its forecasted role under the current TYNDP scenarios, as well as discussion the importance of system integration for building an alternative to gas.

NGO Campaigner Training: 'Of Pipes & Pylons - Is Europe planning energy infrastructure for a Paris Agreement compatible future?', March 2020

Is Europe planning energy infrastructure for a Paris-compatible future? This webinar session for NGOs examines the recently published energy scenarios of the Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020 (TYNDP). These scenarios form the basis of European energy infrastructure strategy for the coming decades by making assumptions on a whole range of variables relating to generation, management and consumption patterns in a number of potential future energy scenarios.

The advantages of electrification for decarbonisation - with Saul Griffith, Founder and Chief Scientist at Otherlab, December 2019

What advantages will high shares of renewables-based electrification bring for society, the climate and the economy? Saul Griffith, founder and chief scientist at Otherlab shares his thought-provoking ideas on modelling, efficiency, old narratives and the grid.

Otherlab - a US-based research and development firm - works on renewable and clean energy, robotics, automation, digital fabrication, adaptive textiles, advanced manufacturing, computational design tools and more. In 2017, they were charged with modelling an ultra-high resolution picture of the US energy economy. The results showed that "electrifying the US economy from carbon-free sources will reduce the amount of energy needed by more than half."

Digitisation in the electricity sector: Behind the buzzword, October 2019

How is digitisation in the electricity sector developing and how it can help enable our transition to a decarbonised electricity system? With presentations from those working practically with the technology on the ground, this session aims to give an overview of digitisation and 'get behind the buzzwords'.

WiseGRID: Wide scale demonstration of Integrated Solutions for European SmartGrid

In this presentation, Stamatia Gkiala Fikari, member of one WiseGRID pilot site team took us on a whistle-stop tour of the project. She explained the goals of the project and its practical implementation in Greece, Belgium, Spain and Italy.

RGI: Digitisation - A systemic view

In this presentation, Holger Loew, Senior Manager - Energy Systems at RGI gave a systemic view of digitisation in the energy system, including characteristics, risks and solutions, and asking the crucial question of how digitisation can be implemented for a sustainable enery transition.

Route planning for new power transmission lines - together with Swissgrid and ETH Zürich, August 2019

The energy transition brings renewable power to our households, which in turn, requires new power transmission lines. However, through where should they pass? Which factors should be taken into account? Where does the data come from?

RGI and ENTSO-E have teamed up again to bring you a best practice webinar on planning tools. The 3D Decision Support System (3D DSS), developed by ETH Zürich uses new, exact approaches to determine the optimal path for new overhead lines and underground cables. The stakeholders themselves define the goals they want to achieve and the lands they want to protect, so that a consensus solution can be found.

Funding programmes and community funds - together with EirGrid, November 2018

In this webinar EirGrid presents their 'Community Fund' and 'DS3 System Services' approaches, both of which have sustainable funding programmes at their core that are aimed at sensibly speeding up essential grid projects.

We also hear from public acceptance expert Prof. Patrick Devine-Wright, who has evaluated the 'Community Fund' programme and come up with suggestions on how to further improve it.

WiseGRID webinar - together with WiseGRID and ENTSO-E, November 2017

This webinar serves as a deep dive into WiseGRID's approaches to wide scale demonstration of integrated solutions and business models for the European smart grid.

The WiseGRID project provides a set of solutions, technologies and business models which increase the smartness, stability and security of an open, consumer-centric European energy grid and provide cleaner and more affordable energy for European citizens.

Compensation and osprey webinar - together with Réseau de Transport d'Electricité, April 2017

This webinar, which was run together with French TSO and RGI Member, RTE, focusses on best practices regarding compensation and bird protection, as examples of how more socially and environmentally friendly grid development can practically increase the acceptability of power lines.

One approach is concerned with the offsetting the negative impacts that lines can have and either respond to that impact directly or create new or additional value to those impacted by the line. RTE has tested both these courses of action successfully in the form of an extensive campaign to protect ospreys and a crowd funding approach that closely involved citizens in the decision of how a grid project should be compensated.


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.