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Energies 2015, 8(9), 9407-9433; doi:10.3390/en8099407

Can the BestGrid Process Improve Stakeholder Involvement in Electricity Transmission Projects?

1
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, Laxenburg A-2361, Austria
2
Climate Policy Group, Institute for Environmental Decisions (ETH), Zurich 8092, Switzerland
3
Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Genoa, Genoa 16145, Italy
4
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam 14473, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Dovì
Received: 27 April 2015 / Revised: 21 August 2015 / Accepted: 24 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Climate Change)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [295 KB, uploaded 31 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

The European Union has set ambitious targets for deployment of renewable energy sources to reach goals of climate change mitigation and energy security policies. However, the current state of electricity transmission infrastructure is a major bottleneck for further scaling up of renewable energy in the EU. Several thousands of kilometers of new lines have to be constructed and upgraded to accommodate growing volumes of intermittent renewable electricity. In many countries, construction of electricity transmission projects has been delayed for several years due to concerns of local stakeholders. The innovative BESTGRID approach, reported here, brings together transmission system operators (TSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss and understand the nature of stakeholder concerns. This paper has three objectives: (1) to understand stakeholder concerns about the deployment of electricity transmission grids in four pilot projects according to five guiding principles: need, transparency, engagement, environment, and impacts on human health as well as benefits; (2) to understand how these principles can be addressed to provide a basis for better decision-making outcomes; and (3) to evaluate the BESTGRID process based on feedback received from stakeholders and the level of participation achieved according to the ladder of Arnstein. This paper goes beyond a discussion of “measures to mitigate opposition” to understand how dialogue between TSOs and the public—represented mainly by NGOs and policy-makers—might lead to a better decision-making process and more sustainable electricity transmission infrastructure deployment. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy infrastructure projects; transport infrastructure projects; public acceptance and protests; energy transition; electricity grids; renewables energy infrastructure projects; transport infrastructure projects; public acceptance and protests; energy transition; electricity grids; renewables
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Komendantova, N.; Vocciante, M.; Battaglini, A. Can the BestGrid Process Improve Stakeholder Involvement in Electricity Transmission Projects? Energies 2015, 8, 9407-9433.

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