RGI is a unique collaboration of NGOs and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) from across Europe. The objective of the Initiative is to promote transparent, environmentally sensitive grid development to enable the further steady growth of renewable energy and the energy transition.
Questions this practice may help answer
- Why, where and when are new energy lines needed, and who benefits from them?
- How can long-term energy roadmaps and network development be designed in such a way that they become an unequivocal building block towards a decarbonised European energy sector?
- How can affected communities understand the necessity of concrete projects as part of the bigger picture of a decarbonised European energy sector?
- How to assess and understand the effects of subsea cables on the marine environment as well as the possible cumulative effects?
- How can we find joint solutions to development and acceptance challenges, with a strong emphasis on nature protection?
- What effects might new grids have on the environment, landscape, tourism, health (in particular the effects of electric and magnetic fields), or property prices?
- How can payments (also known as community compensation/gain/benefit) increase local support and supply an “appropriate benefit” to communities that host grid infrastructure?
RGI is a unique collaboration of NGOs and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) from across Europe. They promote transparent, environmentally sensitive grid development to enable the further steady growth of renewable energy and the energy transition. RGI is a non-profit association registered under German law. All partners have equal voting rights and the Members’ Assembly (MA) is the highest decision-making body. Six members compose the Board, which is the decision-making body of the MA’s: three TSOs and three NGOs. The RGI Secretariat is based in Berlin and manages and coordinates all RGI activitiesRGI members originate from a variety of European countries, consisting of Transmission System Operators (TSOs) from Belgium (Elia), France (RTE), Germany (Amprion, 50Hertz and TenneT), Ireland (EirGrid), Italy (Terna), the Netherlands (TenneT), Norway (Statnett), Spain (Red Eléctrica) and Switzerland (Swissgrid); and NGOs such as BirdLife Europe, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Fundación Renovables (Spain), Germanwatch (Germany), Legambiente (Italy), Natuur&Milieu (Netherlands), the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) (UK) and WWF International.
Aspects / Objectives
The objective of the Initiative is to promote transparent, environmentally sensitive grid development to enable the further steady growth of renewable energy and the energy transition. This is done by addressing collaboration onto the following topics:
- The need for Grids
- Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) and Projects of Common Interest (PCIs)
- Offshore Grids
- Nature Conservation
- Public acceptance
- Community payment
- Underground cables
- Grid Aesthetics
Main Outputs / Results
All publications are available on: https://renewables-grid.eu/publications.html?L=0%27A%3D0
- Database with subsea cable information: https://renewables-grid.eu/activities/project-database.html?no_cache=1&L...
- Best practice work / ’Good Practice of the Year’ award: Launched in 2012, the objective of RGI’s best practice work is to promote the sharing of and learning from innovative and laudable practices in the realm of grid development across different stakeholder groups. After a series of interviews and workshops, the “European Grid Report”, reflecting challenges, good examples and lessons learned in grid development, was published in December 2012. Given the constantly refined processes in grid projects, the work on best practices is updated regularly. In 2014, RGI created the ‘Good Practice of the Year’ award. The award is annually given out by RGI upon recommendation of a jury of experts and is honoring outstanding practices in grid development. The winning practice should be innovative and an improvement to the existing practices in its category (categories are “Technology & Design, “Communication & Participation” and “Environmental Protection”). The intention of the award is not only to further disseminate the many good practices out there, but also to inspire future action and innovative thinking.
RGI’s events bring together stakeholders from different sectors, including civil society, industry, academia and politics, to promote the dialogue and exchange of knowledge between these groups. Once a year, RGI organizes its annual European Grid conference and two public workshops on different current topics, such as public participation, underground cables, Projects of Common Interest, offshore grids or environmental protection.
- Energy Regions in Transition: “Energy Regions in Transition” is a regular exchange of energy-related best practices and experiences between different regions of the world. In 2015, RGI brought a delegation of European energy leaders to California. Dhe delegates visited San Francisco, the Silicon Valley and Sacramento for a whole week full of high-level discussions, educational tours and site visits. In 2016, a similar tour was organized with stops in New York City, San Francisco and Sacramento. The Secretariat is currently setting up a learning journey to China (Beijing and Inner Mongolia).
- BESTGRID: With nine partners, comprised of European NGOs and TSOs and a research institute, the EU-funded BESTGRID project was coordinated by RGI and worked towards developing the current European electricity grid for the integration of a growing share of electricity from renewable sources. Launched in April 2013, BESTGRID was made up of five pilot projects located in Belgium, Germany and the UK. During the project, TSOs and NGOs worked together to improve local public acceptance for grid development processes. Objectives of the project were to enhance transparency and public participation, to speed up permitting procedures by proactively addressing or even surpassing environmental protection standards, and to encourage the implementation of constructive public engagement in permitting procedures for European “projects of common interest.” BESTGRID has come to a close in October 2015. For more information, visit http://www.bestgrid.eu.
- INSPIRE-Grid: INSPIRE-Grid is an EU-funded research project that stands for “Improved and eNhanced Stakeholder Participation In the Reinforcement of the Electricity Grid". With ten partners from six different countries, INSPIRE-Grid aims to increase stakeholder engagement in grid development projects, better manage conflicts, and speed up the permitting process. By way of an interdisciplinary approach, INSPIRE-Grid developed stakeholder-led processes and designed an expert-led European good practice guide. Methods to facilitate decision-making were newly combined with engagement tools and tested with stakeholders from existing or concluded grid development project case studies. The project ended in January 2017.
As the Initiative is formed my members of many European countries, the outputs of the Initiative are relevant for all EU Member States. Some highlighted outputs:
- The Power of Collaboration - A short introduction to the work of RGI: A flyer introducing RGI’s guiding principles and its main pillars of work
- Annual Report: The annual report summarises RGI's most important activities and main achievements of the previous year.
- European Grid Report: Detailed description of findings from best practice project.
- Brochure Empowered=Connected: Presents the story of the renewables-grid in a nutshell: Why do we need a rapid extension of the electricity grid? What is the link with renewable energy? What is our vision of the future European grid?
- Animation: Explains why a SuperSmart grid is needed for integrating 100% of electricity produced from renewable energy sources while maintaining system security.
Antonella Battaglini (Chief Executive Officer)
Phone: +49 30 7677194 51
Mobile phone: +49 170 5849229
Phone: +49 30 7677 194 50
Fax: +49 30 7677 194 59
cost / funding source
RGI is financially supported by four different means: membership fees from member organizations; operational grant of the European Commission's LIFE funding scheme, funding from the Mercator Foundation and the European Climate Foundation; and TSO project grants.