On 11th May 2023, RGI – in collaboration with Ukrainian energy company, DTEK and with the support of many Members – held a half-day workshop for colleagues from Ukrainian grid operators on the topic of bird protection around electricity infrastructure, and the importance of this for security of supply.
Although this topic may seem like a surprising priority, given the ongoing war in Ukraine, it actually is highly relevant also in this setting: interactions between animals and the grid can– without proper mitigation measures – cause ground faults, short circuits, and full-on power outages. Ukraine already is and will have to rebuild a substantial part of its infrastructure and in doing so intends to consider measures that can prevent these risks. For the sake of biodiversity, for the sake of a more secure electricity supply, but also as one aspect in achieving EU membership, they aim to enshrine relevant environmental legislation into this effort.
While lacking data often precludes accurate estimations of the scale of the issue, the American DSO Entergy reported 22,000 outages directly linked to animals in the year 2019 alone. Meanwhile, the Australian DSO SA Power Networks, blames 6-7% of the outages on animals, with the majority linked to flying animals (birds and bats). Thus, taking steps to prevent electrocutions on the line can bring real benefits for ensuring security of supply.
In a hybrid workshop, 20 participants gathered in Kiev and a further 30 online to hear inputs from European DSOs and TSOs, NGOs, and representatives of politics and RGI colleagues.
The discussions were lively and informative and many colleagues showed interest and commitment to continue to engage the topic. Indeed, our morning workshop was immediately proceeded by a practical internal workshop on the topic. RGI will continue to provide guidance on the topic for Ukrainian colleagues, and thanks all participants, speakers, and co-organisers for their engagement with this important topic.
Find all presentations and recordings held at the workshop below, and in case of questions contact Liam Innis, Manager - Energy Ecosystems.