Europe and Central Asia
10 Jul 2013

Energy businesses and NGOs cooperate to expand renewable energies

Photo courtesy of Ariel Brunner
By BirdLife Europe

In a new project grid operators and green NGOs from across Europe, including BirdLife Europe, collaborate on the development of electricity grids with respect for nature. Through the BESTGRID project partners of the Renewable Grid Initiative (RGI) will test best practices and disseminate the lessons learnt across the European continent. They will also work at increasing public acceptance towards a renewable grids expansion.

The threat of climate change is now undeniable and the development of renewable energy is part of the solution to address this major issue. Renewable energy is produced at many locations and is transported to customers by grid operators, the companies that manage the energy transmission lines – or grid lines. BirdLife Europe believes that a pragmatic approach to permit the expansion of renewable grids respectful of the environment can only be developed through an open dialogue with the energy business. That is why BirdLife Europe joined RGI, which brings expertise both from grid operators and green NGOs, and engaged in the BESTGRID project.

bestgrid1Within the project, four pilot projects will be implemented in Belgium, Germany and the UK. As an example, one of them will test new approaches towards permitting a subsea-interconnector (undersea cable) in the North Sea. The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) will accompany the project and monitor and evaluate the success of the tested approaches. Key stakeholders - other grid operators and NGOs, planning authorities, policy makers and regulators at both EU and member state level – will be invited to closely follow up the pilot projects and to engage in an exchange of best practices in grid development.

In addition, new tools for exchanging best practices across Europe will be developed and two guidebooks will be produced and disseminated, focusing on “Participation and Transparency” and “Protecting the Environment and Engaging Environmental Stakeholders” in grid development projects.


The project is funded by Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE).

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For more information, please contact Willem Van den Bossche, European Nature Conservation officer at BirdLife Europe

Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.