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Environmental and climate change adaptation assessment of electricity transmission lines

Climate change risk management in electrical transmission infrastructure
Red Eléctrica de España


The project is divided into 2 different products:

1) Proposals for improving the environmental assessment of transmission power lines

The purpose of the project was to analyse, with the involvement of the company and the environmental authorities concerned, the environmental assessment processes of electric transmission lines. To contextualise this, the peculiarities of the electricity system in Spain were analysed, as well as the applicable regulations and the role of different stakeholders. The different types of impacts and methodological conditions for evaluation were also characterised. Finally, nine challenges and opportunities for improving evaluation were defined. The report was published in book form by the Spanish Association of Environmental Impact Assessment in 2012.

2) Strategy for adaptation of transmission power lines to climate change

The specific objectives of this technical assistance project consist of:

• Identifying the climate parameters with the greatest impact on the life cycle of the electricity transmission infrastructure and its likely evolution in the coming decades, based on climate projections.

• Analysing whether the main technical standards or basic criteria currently used in the design of this infrastructure should be modified and in what sections.

• Analysing the potential risks during operation and maintenance and propose appropriate preventive and corrective measures.

• Defining the bases for developing a strategy for adaptation to climate change at REE.


The main results of the project are:

1) Environmental assessment

  • Specific workshops with representatives of Spain’s regional governments and members of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (116 people altogether).
  • Compilation of new methodologies on impact assessment, specifically related to transmission lines.
  • Development of communicative technical material that was published as a book

2) Climate change adaptation

  • International benchmarking on the adaptation strategies of companies in the energy sector.
  • Analysis of climate change scenarios for Spain.
  • Sensitivity and vulnerability analyses of the various components of electric transport system, and risk characterisation.
  • Definition of strategic guidelines and a roadmap to implement REE’s climate change adaptation strategy.


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