Early Stakeholder Engagement
Successfully implementing the energy transition requires expanding the extra-high-voltage grids. In regions where existing capacity has to be enhanced or new lines have to be built, citizens and particular stakeholders have a great need for information. We are especially concerned with maintaining open and transparent dialogue with the public in order to involve citizens early, thereby improving the projects and laying the foundation for acceptance.
The overarching goal of our proactive information policy and dialogue is always to involve all affected stakeholders in our development of new line routes and make it as transparent and comprehensible as possible. Our conversations with the affected parties are conducted according to clearly defined requirements, in set formats and by means of a standardised “tool kit”. Communities affected by grid expansion are involved in the planning from day one – even before start of the formal approval process. We affirmed this process together with communal umbrella organisations in a position paper published in 2015.
We initiate dialogue with our stakeholders during the very early planning phases. This includes consultations on grid development plans as well as grid enhancement and expansion projects. Among other initiatives, we shape dialogue with the following activities: information markets, round tables, brochures on specific topics, citizensʼ hotlines or our so-called Dialogmobil. Beyond that, our Corporate Guideline and our Approval Roadmap define the timelines and interplay of project planning, approval, public involvement and stakeholder management.
We first deployed the Dialogmobil in 2014 in Berlin and Brandenburg for the 380 kV overhead line Bertikow-Pasewalk project. In light of the posi-tive reaction, the Dialogmobil is now regularly on the road as a rolling citizensʼ centre facilitating communication in the grid development regions. In 2016, we decided to buy our own Dialogmobil. The 50Hertz-Dialogmobil has logged 3,210 kilometres in our control area since May 2016 to enable direct contact with the population even in smaller towns, in market squares, in front of town halls and community centres. We also dis-cussed the planned aisle corridor in 24 conferences with public interest agencies and political, economic and scientific representatives, as well as more than 70 direct roundtable discussions with districts, ministries and other public authorities.