On 11 May 2023, our partner the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) – in collaboration with Ukrainian energy company, DTEK – held a half-day hybrid workshop for colleagues from Ukrainian grid operators on the topic of bird protection around electricity infrastructure, and the importance of this for security of supply.
Although this topic may seem like a surprising priority, given the ongoing war in Ukraine, it actually is highly relevant also in this setting: interactions between animals and the grid can – without proper mitigation measures – cause ground faults, short circuits, and full-on power outages. Ukraine already is and will have to rebuild a substantial part of its infrastructure and in doing so intends to consider measures that can prevent these risks. For the sake of biodiversity, for the sake of a more secure electricity supply, but also as one aspect in achieving EU membership, they aim to enshrine relevant environmental legislation into this effort.
RGI presented the SafeLines4Birds project as part of best practice examples and underlined the importance of a collaborative approach to ensure bird protection around electricity infrastructure.
Two other of our consortium partners held presentations during the workshop. ENEDIS presented some practical, institutional, and political factors that influence the implementation of solutions to the issue of bird mortality. Naturpuunt gave a presentation on the collaborative sensitivity mapping activities carried out continuously in Belgium for more targeted risk mitigation and better grid planning.
In this hybrid workshop, 20 participants gathered in Kyiv and a further 30 online to hear inputs from European DSOs and TSOs, NGOs, as well as senior colleagues from the Ukrainian grid operators and representatives of politics and RGI colleagues.
The discussions were lively and informative, and many colleagues showed interest in our project and commitment to continue to engage on the topic. Indeed, the morning workshop was immediately proceeded by a practical internal workshop on the issue.
You can find all presentations and recordings held at the workshop on the RGI website.