Green Electricity Corridors in Europe

‘Green Corridors’ refer to the space underneath overhead powerlines which, with proper management, can deliver important ecosystem services to local biodiversity. Working together with consultancy firm Ecofirst and funded by the European Union's LIFE programme, RGI developed a briefing paper to provide an overview of the state of Green Corridors implementation across Europe, outlining best practices, challenges to implementation and recommendations for optimisation. 

Scientific studies and examples from the field continue to show that, with proper management, the land under powerlines can become biodiversity hubs. Such management, known as “Integrated Vegetation Management” (IVM) can be used to create strategically planned networks of natural and semi-natural areas called ‘green corridors’. RGI worked together with the consultancy Ecofirst to conduct a benchmarking exercise. The aim of this was to understand what the common roadblocks are, what tools could be needed to overcome these, and to propose some ways in which IVM policies can be better developed and implemented. From research and further discussions with TSOs, NGOs, landowners and other stakeholders, four main future priorities became clear:

·      Build mapping tools – these must be developed for the identification of appropriate IVM sites.

·      Test and share new governance approaches – vital in overcoming the obstacles in rolling out IVM (e.g. lack of resources, landowner opposition)

·      Prove cost efficiency through Cost Benefit Analysis – a precondition in convicing TSOs and regulators of the financial value of IVM.

·      Expand the scientific knowledge base – the effectiveness of different types of IVM intervention must be measured and quantifying biological indicators designed.

Image: LIFE Elia-RTE 'Green Corridors' Project

Video: Grids and the Environment

Where is energy infrastructure built and what effects does this have on biodiversity, particularly birds? What solutions and opportunities are available? Which approaches have been taken by European TSOs? Find the answers to all of these questions and more in this video.


Liam Innis
Senior Manager - Energy Ecosystems

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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.