Transmission grid operators and environmental groups teamed up in the EU project BESTGRID to jointly develop and test better practices in electricity grid development. This successful collaboration has confirmed that electricity ‘projects of common interest’ can be implemented in line with existing EU nature conservation legislation. To mark the final conference of the BESTGRID project, two handbooks are today being launched in Brussels. The recommendations are relevant for the European Commission’s on-going Fitness Check of EU nature legislation.
Since it began in 2013, the BESTGRID project, co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, has succeeded in bringing together project promoters and environmental and local stakeholders at an early stage. It has also encouraged more open and transparent planning procedures. Experiences from five pilot projects in Belgium, Germany and the UK resulted in a number of key findings:
These insights are vital for the development of ‘projects of common interest’ implemented under the guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E legislation). As a result, the BESTGRID consortium strongly recommends building on the lessons learned in the two and a half years of the project. The lessons are applicable for TSOs, NGOs and all other stakeholders. Their application will result in sustaining and developing both the European biodiversity as well as the European energy transition.
Two members of the BESTGRID consortium, environmental NGOs Germanwatch and BirdLife Europe, developed the two parts of the handbook:
They summarise recommendations derived from BESTGRID’s pilot projects and an on-going European exchange of best practices.
For further information, please contact:
Theresa Schneider, Renewables Grid Initiative
Mobile: +49 162 2056686