How do new technologies help citizens and communities engage and understand the local value of energy infrastructure projects
Major policy and regulatory efforts are being rolled-out to modernise and expand Europe's energy infrastructure and to interconnect networks across borders to meet the Union's core energy policy objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply.
The process of constructing, extending and upgrading the necessary electricity grids in Europe faces reservations from stakeholders and citizens is certain cases due to a lack of information and early consultation despite progress on the regulatory side. Failing to reach an agreement with local stakeholders on the deployment and siting of projects can cause lengthy and costly delays to the planning process and can even jeopardise the project altogether. Increasing societal acceptance of energy infrastructure is crucial. In this sense, The Commission believes that transparency and communication is essential, and it implies that citizens and are other stakeholders must be made aware of the added value and benefits brought by the project locally or through a positive impact on their energy bills.
New technologies help disseminate the information and improve access to relevant data in a real-time interactive manner. These technologies support inclusiveness and supports citizens in becoming actors enacting change from merely passive respondents.
The discussion will feature best practices in deploying technical & spatial data for early public engagement in the planning process, and will explore means for citizens to be informed on the local benefits that energy infrastructure projects can have in their communities.