All across Europe, immense efforts are undertaken to develop and upgrade our power transmission networks that enable the reliable, sustainable and affordable supply of electricity to every European citizen across the continent. This power transmission network is the blood-system of our private and public life, the backbone of Europe’s economy and a key enabler of future energy systems largely build on renewable sources of energy. Clearly, it is a vital infrastructure priority for every one of us.

At the same time, power grid projects impact our daily lives and the environment in their specific context on the ground. Because of their strategic importance on one hand and their local effects on the environment and adjacent communities on the other hand, public acceptance for power grid development projects is indispensable. The common European effort to make our power transmission grids ready to secure a reliable, sustainable and affordable supply of electricity has to be jointly undertaken by all stakeholders of power grid projects. It is crucial to find the most acceptable way of implementing each one of them and thus eventually achieve high public acceptance for each project. To this end, improved project communication and an intensified multi-stakeholder dialogue can make a significant contribution.

In order to raise public acceptance for power grid development through a comprehensive multi-stakeholder dialogue, this website features a toolkit with essential components for successful, inclusive project communication and stakeholder integration, intended for multi-stakeholder use at the local level of – in principle – any grid development project across Europe.

In the end, public acceptance for power grid projects is a local priority in the context of specific grid links under development – as much as it is an overarching, more global issue for the general public. Against this backdrop, this toolkit is intended for use by supra-national, national and local audiences. It may serve to support stakeholders to identify relevant aspects for communication and stakeholder involvement activities surrounding grid development projects. For all local stakeholders, Transmission System Operators (TSOs), NGOs and policy makers, the User Guides are a good place to start exploring the toolkit as they intend to give some guidance how to use and explore the website. 

The toolkit is structured along categories of communication and participation elements in the context of power grid projects. These include the different Stakeholders involved, the Project Stages, the Communication Channels, the Communication Formats and the Contents conveyed. Each of these categories contains several profiles specifying, for example, the different types of stakeholders or the different project stages. These profiles do not only provide a thorough description but also link the profiles to one another showing how communication elements in the context of grid projects work together. The descriptions are accompanied by questions that help to identify where further, project-specific considerations are important. In addition, the toolkit provides several Practice Examples showing how different toolkit elements have proven to work in the frame of real-life grid projects.

This website and the featured toolkit for project communication and stakeholder integration in the context of power grid development projects have been developed in the framework of a project financed by the European Commission (DG Energy). Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, supported by BIO Intelligence Service and Arctik srpl, designed, drafted and delivered the toolkit as well as the website under the Commission’s mandate.