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Itinerant Exhibition by REE
Red Eléctrica de Espana (REE)
Primary contact person:
Overall project context:
REE has learned from previous projects that in order to enter into a constructive dialogue with affected stakeholders it is crucial to build a common understanding of why grids are needed. Conveying the principles of electric grid operation is particularly necessary for enhancing this common understanding. This helps to raise general awareness of what is at stake when it comes to grid extension projects and reduces the potential for conflict once specific grid lines are determined.
Description of relevant activities:
The Spanish TSO launched a travelling Exhibition in 2010 in the city of Granada. This itinerant Exhibition, called “A highway behind the wall socket. Electricity from the power station to your home”, is an interactive demonstration explaining electricity production, transport and use; the functionality of electricity systems and the economical, technical and environmental impact of electricity consumption. Since 2010 it has been installed in six Spanish cities and has attracted some 270,000 visitors.
The installation is divided into three themed zones:
• “Electricity, the force of nature tamed”: This part of the exhibit presents the general nature and properties of electricity. It also ties them back to transmission, for example by demonstrating the need for high voltage transmission, explaining alternating current and illustrating Spain’s meshed transmission grid.
• “A highway behind the wall socket”: This section presents the process of power supply, the functionality of the grid system, renewables integration and balancing of supply and demand. The section also gives examples of REE’s actions to protect the environment and indigenous species (e.g. bird saving spirals).
• “From your side of the wall socket… responsible consumption”: This section presents the effects of electricity consumption on the system and aims to make the user reflect on using electricity efficiently and sustainably.
This Exhibition not only invites the visitor to participate, carry out experiments and discover electricity and the electricity supply process, but also offers practical tips for efficient energy use. The Exhibition uses a number of visual and interactive elements, such as screens, models, hands-on lab experiments (e.g. visualising an electric arc or a Tesla coil) and interactive displays. The exhibit also features the interactive CONTROLA simulation game, also available on REE’s website (http://www.ree.es/en/educaree/controla-game ), in which players adopt the role of operators of the Electricity Control Centre of the Spanish electricity system (CECOEL) and have to control and maintain electrical supply at levels sufficient to meet various consumers’ needs, and in response to various events, such as temperature fluctuations, demand fluctuations, requests for supply from neighbouring countries, etc.
Recently, REE launched an Educational Resources Kit, composed by a “webquest” and two student and teacher books with exercises about electricity system (www.unaautopistadetrasdelenchufe.com ).
A detailed English-langue guide to the Exhibition can be found at:http://www.ree.es/sites/default/files/09_EDUCAREE/Ferias%20y%20exposicio...
What worked well:
Red Eléctrica’s Exhibition has already been in five other Spanish cities. Since its launch in 2010, it has been on display in five science museums: the Parque de las Ciencias in Granada, the Casa de las Ciencias in Logroño, the Museo de la Ciencia in Valladolid, Museo Elder de la Ciencia y Tecnología in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and the Casa de la Ciencia in Seville; registering over these years a total of 270,000 visitors. Currently, the Exhibition is placed in the Museo Abierto de Mérida. In the coming years the Exhibition will be shown in other cities across the country. The Exhibition attracted a mixed crowd, including students, families and senior citizens. Certain nearby towns have arranged special bus trips for residents to visit the exhibit, and it is sometimes included in certain tourist visits.
The survey results show that after visiting the Exhibition, the rejection of power lines and substations is reduced by 50%. In addition, 84 % of visitors commented that after attending the Exhibition, they realised why power grids are needed.
Key content provided:
In an extremely didactic way and through an interactive tour, the Exhibition shows the phenomenon and properties of electricity, as well as the electricity supply process, and propose some ideas and recommendations for a rational and efficient use of energy. In this way, the visitor takes centre stage and becomes the protagonist of the electricity process with the ability to choose what, how and when to consume electricity, thus contributing to a greater efficiency and sustainability of the electricity system.
Furthermore, the Exhibition provides information related to generic Technical details of grid projects, including how transmission works, explanations of the need for high voltage transmission and visuals of grid infrastructure. It also provides maps of existing grid infrastructure as a result of past projects.
Other key stakeholders involved:
In each travelling, REE collaborates with the local government and a science museum in order to show the Exhibition in their city and promote related activities, as for example guided tours, educational programs, technical conferences and several workshops.
Key communications formats used:
While this Exhibition is not done in the context of a specific project, it is an interesting example of the way in which this format can be used to educate the public on issues surrounding electricity, the electrical grid and environmental impacts of electricity use. Raising awareness on these subjects can help promote public understanding for the need for grid development.
Transferability to other Member States:
A static or travelling Exhibition aiming to raise awareness on general issues relating to electricity production and use could be replicated in any MS and could appeal to a wide range of stakeholders.