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Report RSE 16002019

Valutazione integrata delle reti e approcci partecipativi


In the framework of the electricity system, great effort is spent both at European and national central level in pushing the development and the strengthening of energy network infrastructures. In spite of this, in the last decade scarce and unsatisfactory results have been reached, in terms of concrete and efficient realization of the planned projects: referring to the projects of strategic importance for Europe, the Ten-Year Network Development Plan for 2014 shows that about half of them has been delayed or canceled. Considering that the causes of these delays are often related to strong public opposition rather than to technological limitations, this data put in evidence that the planning of the network cannot deal only with technological and feasibility aspects, but must take seriously into account social aspects as well.

The research activities presented in this deliverable aim to develop methodologies and tools useful to assess environmental impacts related to the construction of new power lines and facilitate the involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process, thus increasing the approval and improving the public evaluation of network expansion projects. These activities are based on a multidisciplinary approach, which combines the study of the engagement processes and its psychological and sociological aspects, with the use of integrated assessment methodologies. A great contribution to these activities came from the work carried out in the framework of the FP7 European project INSPIRE-Grid, coordinated by RSE. In particular, thanks to the participation in this project, it has been possible to include and match very different skills and professional experiences, going from the social sciences to the management of the development of the transmission networks. An example of a result obtained through such a collaboration is represented by the collection of the concerns and needs of the various stakeholders involved in the development of the electricity network and their organization in a map which is easily accessible from the project official web site ( index.php / results /).

Moreover, a detailed and in depth evaluation of the usefulness and the effectiveness of web-GIS as participatory tools able to promote and facilitate the public involvement in the planning of new power lines projects was carried out. More precisely, it has been developed a prototype of a participatory web- GIS which allows different types of participatory actions: through the tool, it is possible to learn about and to take into account the preferences and the concerns of the population regarding the areas considered the most sensitive or the most valuable from the landscape point of view, hence needing a higher protection and a higher level of attention from the planners, to avoid or limit the interference of the new infrastructure.

The achieved results allow to highlight that there are still potentiality to be developed and margins for the improvement of methodologies and procedures dedicated to the involvement of stakeholders in network planning processes. In the future, the real effectiveness of the individuated methodologies will be further investigated, also providing occasions for their practical application.

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