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Subsea cables
in the North Sea

Subsea cables in the North Sea are a major step for integrating renewable energy among other electrical projects of common interest

Berlin – 27 Oct. 2014 | Last week, the Norwegian government licensed the construction of two European energy infrastructure “projects of common interest” (PCI). The two 1400 MW subsea electricity cables will enable the North European region to exchange electricity and use the Norwegian hydro power potential, enabling greater use of renewables. Other grid developments aiming at renewables integration, such as the German DC links connecting the wind regions in Northern Germany to the South of the country, are also important developments to combat climate change, increase security of supply and improve market efficiency.

The Renewable Grid Initiative (RGI) welcomes in statement these investment decisions, and invites project developers to use these projects as opportunities to understand better how to minimise and monitor impacts, especially in the marine environment. These projects can be used to collect environmental data and share information and lessons with other operators that are or will be constructing power lines, in particular those defined as PCIs. It is essential that all PCI projects are carried out to the highest standards of nature protection and with full respect for the participation rights of affected stakeholders and citizens. Since 2011 CIVILSCAPE has followed the Renewable Grid Initiative since 2011 and signed two of their declarations.

20 out of the 21 EU member with a coastline have already singed the European Landscape Convention (ELC). Therefore the management, planning and protection of coastal and marine landscapes should be addressed in the national implementation of the ELC. In 2013 CIVILSCAPE has organized a workshop during the European Maritime Days in Valetta, Malta. RGI followed the invitation and the audience discussed aspects of new marine and coastal governance as key for the energy transition.

Electricity projects of common interest are at the forefront of the transition to a secure, sustainable, renewables-based energy system in Europe, and are essential for achieving the post-2020 climate and energy framework of the EU. Other projects, such as those aiming for a stronger interconnectivity with the Iberian Peninsula, the Baltic region and Ireland should also be considered as priorities. RGI hopes that the development of additional interconnectors needed for the integration of growing shares of electricity from renewable sources will also receive strong backing from national governments and regulators.

CIVILSCAPE partner organisation RGI is ready to contribute to shaping the governance structures the EU needs so that the newly agreed targets can be met or exceeded while protecting nature and the rights and interests of all citizens. Coherence of, and synergies among governance mechanisms for energy infrastructure, efficiency, renewables and energy security are essential to deliver the necessary investments for the energy transition, stimulate the European economy and create local jobs. A more ambitious infrastructure target can only be successfully implemented if its delivery is compatible with the CBA methodology developed by ENTSO-E and the related PCI process following the TEN-E legislation.

CIVILSCAPE has followed the activities of the Renewables-Grid-Initiative (RGI) since 2010 and has signed two of their declarations. The Renewables-Grid-Initiative (RGI) promotes 100% integration of electricity produced from renewable energy sources. TSOs and NGOs join forces in RGI to support the build-up of a sufficient grid infrastructure in Europe for both decentralised and large-scale renewable energy sources. This grid development should be efficient, sustainable, timely, environmentally friendly, and socially acceptable to all stakeholders. RGI members originate from a variety of European countries, as it consists of TSOs from Belgium (Elia), UK (National Grid), France (RTE), Germany (50Hertz and TenneT), Netherlands (TenneT), Switzerland (Swissgrid) and Norway (Statnett), and NGOs such as WWF International, BirdLife Europe, Germanwatch, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Legambiente and Natuur&Milieu. RGI was launched in July 2009. CIVILSCAPE is observer in the EU funded INSPIRE GRID project which aims to achieve best pratice for participation in energy grid related planning processes.

 

Further Information

CIVILSCAPE Office Bonn
Dirk Gotzmann
Adenauerallee 68
53113 Bonn
Germany
Tel.: +49 (228) 299711-00 or -01
Fax: +49 (228) 299711-09
E-Mail: dirk.gotzmann@civilscape.eu

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The following pages are (partly) published only in English. We apologize for any inconvenience.
You are welcome to support us in our efforts to translate the CivilScape web site to different languages.