Analysis of the stakeholders’ concerns and needs on different stakeholder levels.
Analysis of acceptance relevant measures and fields of conflict.
When approaching the issue of acceptance, first of all it is necessary to identify the various stakeholder groups to get a better knowledge of the stakeholders’ interplay. Stakeholder groups are not the same in every region and their constellations change over time during the planning process, for at the beginning of every process a stakeholder mapping /analysis regarding different societal levels has to be applied. Affected stakeholders groups in the context of grid extension can be:
• Broad public: EU citizens, and the national and regional public
• Public citizen groups involved in the grid extension
• National and international nature and biodiversity conservation unions and groups or persons
• The political administration on all affected levels. EU- Parliament and policy makers, national parliament and regional administration
• Local authorities, e.g. the Mayor of the community, the village and country
• Planning authorities and policy implementers from EU level to regional administration
• Planning company and authority of the grid construction project
• Local energy providers
• National and European wide energy providers and companies
• The grid operators: Local distribution system operators and transport system operators
This work package will acutely define the different actors involved in the decision process but also the possible conflicts and public controversies that can emerge between the developers, the customers, the opponents, the supporters, the residents, the local authorities. It will show what kind of networks can emerge (Cotton, Devine-Wright, 2012) and what institutional constraints (norms, rules, local “path dependence”) can influence their strategies. It will bring to light the role of each actor in accordance to their resources, their influence and the local context (Foxon, Hammond, 2010).
Regarding the question of acceptance, recent investigations indicate that people approve the future grid extension on a general level, in particular when it serves the further integration of renewable energies, for example offshore wind energy. Other positive and sensible aspects in connection with the grid extension are the general security of supply and the supply of other regions needing electricity. On the contrary at the local level, the opposition is more intense, because the impacts affect directly populations and nature.
Public arguments that affect the acceptance of the grid extension most often stress an expected negative impact on health by electromagnetic fields (sometimes referred as electrosmog), fears from a nature conservationist view (e.g. birdstrikes), other negative ecological impacts regarding protected areas or an economic impact like expected losses for the tourism industry as well as a decrease of properties values caused by the perceived negative impacts on the landscape.
As a result, a detailed understanding of stakeholders’ perspectives including their needs and roles in the context of new transmission lines as well as an overview of current acceptance relevant topics and fields of conflict will be provided.