RGI$News$$ March$2013$ $
RGI News March 2013 $ 2012 has been an exciting year for the Renewables-GridInitiative. New projects have been initiated and the cooperation between TSOs, NGOs and beyond has been enhanced. The 2nd European Grid Conference in December with the presentation of both the European Grid Report and the extension of the European Grid Declaration on Transparency and Participation has been the highlight of the year. Also politically, important steps have been taken by the end of last year. RGI welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council in November on the European Infrastructure Regulation (find more information below). In this issue of the RGI news, you can find information about 1. • • • • • • • • 2. • • •
RGI activities Save-the-date: workshop in Bergen, Norway RGI at the CeBIT in Hannover Results of Cable workshop in Switzerland RGI in a nutshell Job offer: financial manager “Building bridges between TSOs and civil society”: the 2nd European Grid Conference European Grid Declaration on Transparency and Participation Continuing knowledge exchange and improving availability: Best practices in 2013 Discussing the electricity grid Agreement on Regulation on Guidelines for Trans-European Energy Infrastructure European Commission working on guidelines for streamlining environmental assessment procedures ENTSO-E TYNDP stakeholder group meeting
1. RGI activities Save-the-date: workshop in Bergen, Norway On June 6 and 7 2013, the next RGI workshop, kindly hosted by Statnett, will take place in Bergen, Norway. The workshop will use the experiences made during a grid expansion project in the nearby Hardangerfjord as a starting point to look into upcoming challenges when building European interconnectors. In the workshop, we will deal with questions such as ! How can offshore grids be built in cooperation with local communities? ! How can environmental impacts of offshore interconnectors be assessed, avoided or mitigated? ! How can TSOs, authorities and NGOs cooperate during the planning and permitting of interconnectors?
RGI at the CeBIT in Hannover RGI and the Grid Expo (www.gridexpo.eu) will be present at this year’s CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, the world's largest trade fair showcasing digital IT and telecommunications solutions.
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If you want to visit us at the CeBIT, come to our booth within the CODE_n area in hall 16. Special features are four large pylon models reaching from 1,85 to 3 metres. In addition, a panel session and a presentation by Antonella Battaglini, Executive Director of RGI, on the SuperSmart Grid are scheduled for the program of the Energy Day at the CeBIT on Friday, 8th of March. You can have a look at the conference programme here: http://www.gridexpo.eu/grid-expo-cebit-2013/#more-184 Results of Cable workshop in Switzerland During the two-days workshop, more than 70 participants from industry, NGOs, academia and politics discussed most urgent challenges around the question under which conditions extra-high voltage transmission grids could be built underground. During the first day, a series of presentations demonstrated the current knowledge about undergrounding covering technology, environmental impacts, costs and policy approaches. The second day was used to discuss how to move ahead to solve main challenges. Workshop participants generally agreed that with current technology, partial undergrounding is the only feasible approach. At the same time, in many countries regulatory and policy frameworks are not yet prepared to support this option. Furthermore, the necessity to proactively share further insights on relevant cable projects became obvious. The workshop host Swissgrid stated its interest to develop a platform for such a purpose and suggested to define common criteria for studies to be able to compare and mutually profit from the experiences gathered in new projects. RGI will accompany this process.
A summary of the workshop, all presentations and pictures taken during the workshop will be available on our website soon.
RGI$News$$ March$2013$ $ RGI in a nutshell You want to understand RGI’s set-up and activities in 3 minutes? Check out our new factsheet: http://renewablesgrid.eu/uploads/media/RGI_Factsheet_basic_2013020 5.pdf
Job offer: Financial manager The RGI Secretariat is looking for a financial manager, starting May 2013. Deadline for application is March 21st. The job ad is available on our website: http://renewablesgrid.eu/about/jobs.html “Building bridges between TSOs and civil society”: the 2nd European Grid Conference More than 200 participants listened with great interest to both Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, and Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, during the European Grid Conference on 5 December 2012 in Brussels. In his keynote, Commissioner Oettinger appreciated that RGI’s work is “building bridges between TSOs and civil society” and announced the coming into force of the new European Infrastructure Legislation (more information below). However, he also pointed out that still a lot needs to be done in terms of awareness-raising, communication and best practice sharing. Commissioner Potočnik focused on the implementation of environmental and nature conservation legislation in his keynote. He stressed that most often obstacles to new projects do not come from environmental legislation, but rather a lack of dialogue. He concluded: “I find your initiative to bring together environmental groups and energy infrastructure operators not only sensible but also highly innovative.” Both Commissioners appreciated the work RGI has done in 2012 and were happy to receive both the European Grid Report and the European Grid Declaration on Transparency and Participation. European Grid Declaration on Transparency and Participation After the pledge to work together to ensure that the goals of grid modernisation and environmental protection can be achieved side by side in 2011, 28 organisations came together again in December to sign the extension of the European Grid Declaration
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(EGD). Signatories, including Europeâ€™s largest environmental NGOs and grid operators, agreed on common principles to ensure that transparency and participatory approaches are respected in grid expansion projects. After teaming up with the 28 signatories of the extension of the EGD, Eurobat, the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, decided to sign the first part as well. RGI highly welcomes Eurobat and invites new organisations to follow this step. Please contact Antina Sander (email@example.com) if you are interested. If you want to learn more about the signatories of the European Grid Declaration, take a look at the video statements we recorded during the Conference. For the full text of both parts of the EGD, visit our website.
Continuing knowledge exchange and improving availability: Best practices in 2013 After the findings of RGIâ€™s best practice project have been published in the European Grid Report in December, the exchange will continue this year. We will set up a database on our website soon to enhance the searchability of available information. Moreover, the exchange with our partners and beyond will continue. An update of our findings will be published in autumn 2013, the database will be updated regularly. Please get in touch with us if you want to contribute to our best practice project: Theresa Schneider, firstname.lastname@example.org You can download the European Grid Report and a brochure summarising the main results here.
RGI$News$$ March$2013$ $ 2. Discussing the electricity grid Agreement on Regulation on Guidelines for Trans-European Energy Infrastructure On November 27, the Council and the European Parliament have reached an informal agreement on the Energy Infrastructure Regulation. To enter into force the regulation still needs to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. The regulation identifies twelve priority corridors and includes procedures to identify so-called projects of common interest (PCIs). A new permitting regime will apply for these PCIs which contains provisions for transparency and public participation. The Commission will adopt the first list of PCIs by 31 July 2013. European Commission working on guidelines for streamlining environmental assessment procedures Within the Energy Infrastructure Regulation the Commission is requested to develop non-binding guidance to support Member States in defining legislative and non-legislative measures to streamline the environmental assessment procedures and to ensure the coherent application of environmental assessment procedures for PCIs. The European Commission has commissioned the consultancies Milieu and Arcadis to prepare recommendations for this guidance document. For this, interviews have been conducted in all EU Member States and Croatia to identify good practices. The results have been discussed in two workshops at Cambridge University and in Brussels. Experts from academia, industry and civil society, including RGI, were invited to an open brainstorming session in order to better specify the possible content of the Commissionâ€™s guidance. The guidance will be published in summer this year. ENTSO-E TYNDP stakeholder group meeting In February, the second meeting of the ENTSO-E TYNDP stakeholder group took place. This multi-stakeholder group, consisting of representatives from a wide range of energy associations and NGOs is invited to provide comments and inputs on the procedures and methodologies to develop the ten-year network development plan (TYNDP). RGI is furthermore participating in a sub-workinggroup which aims at developing a new approach to cover environmental and socio-economic impacts within the TYNDP CostBenefit-Analysis.
Contact Theresa Schneider, Theresa@renewables-grid.eu