Stakeholder groups


Experts, especially scholars at research institutions such as universities or independent research units, should play an important role in grid projects as they can bring in a substantiated, independent position on several aspects of grid projects. They are often seen as a trustworthy source of information, which makes them particularly helpful in providing an expert view on some of the most debated issues surrounding grid projects (e.g. the health impacts of power line construction, the ecological impact of a project or the economic effects of grid development). 


The Media is a key multiplier of information to the public and can play an important role in shaping public opinion on grid development at large, as well as on specific projects. The Media can have a wide reach, ranging from the local level to the national or international. While certain Media outlets may present information in a neutral manner, others are, by definition, meant to provide an opinion (e.g. newspaper editorials, radio or TV talk shows, opinion blogs, etc.).

National/Regional policy makers

National/Regional policy makers have a very distinct role in grid projects as these projects are often driven by policy decisions made by relevant officials. These policy decisions include creating incentives for building grid lines, e.g. through direct subsidies or by promoting the expansion of renewable energy production.

Permitting authorities

In the process of grid development there are different public authorities involved in granting permissions to certain aspects of the project. In the narrow sense, Permitting authorities are the last instance to grant permission to the precisely defined grid line at the end of the permitting stage of the project. These authorities may operate on a regional or national level, depending on the permitting system of the country involved.

Power producers

With regards to electrical power, Power producers are typically private sector companies that own and operate power plants for the production of electrical energy. They can be divided into two groups. First, those that have a high share of renewable energy production in their portfolio (for example from wind energy), and second those that primarily produce electric power with traditional energy sources such as coal, lignite and gas. The first group typically has a genuine interest in the extension of grid lines since this helps to connect their power plants to the consumers.

Industrial consumers

Industry is a key electricity consumer in the EU. Indeed, in 2010, according to the EEA, the industrial sector was the single largest electricity consumer, accounting for 36.5% of total final consumption, with households and services following at about 30%.

European institutions

Power grids do not only connect different regions within a country. In fact, many high voltage grids in Europe cross borders and seas to connect national grid systems and guarantee a reliable supply of electricity across the entire continent. Therefore, the development of grids in Europe is not an exclusively national endeavour. Grid development plans are elaborated and coordinated on a European level through close cooperation of the national TSOs and national Regulators of neighbouring countries and through the cooperation with European institutions.

Land owners

Land owners are stakeholders of power grid projects whose physical property is crossed by the overhead power line or underground cable. Unlike Adjacent communities which are indirectly affected by the project e.g. by its visual impact on the surrounding countryside, Land owners directly deal with pylons constructed on their premises or cable corridors passing over their property.


Transmission system operators are companies that own and operate electrical power transmission grid lines, i.e. high-voltage main power lines, and are responsible for transporting electrical energy. They are also typically the main owners of grid development projects since they are the primary entity in charge of planning and constructing new grid lines.


In the electricity and gas market, Regulators (regulatory agencies) are responsible for ensuring non-discriminatory third-party access to networks and regulating the fees. They are obliged to ensure network security and supply. 

Their primary duty is to protect the interests of consumers, where possible by promoting competition. Consumers' interests are understood in the broadest sense, taking into account the reduction of greenhouse gases and the security of the supply of electricity, and not only prices. The Regulator for electricity typically covers the gas market, too.