The future of electricity transmission : cost-benefit analysis of a biodiversity-friendly vegetation management in forest corridors
Vegetation is a threat for electricity transmission when overhead high-tension lines are crossing forest areas. For this reason, Transmission System Operators (TSO) often proceed by regular vegetation destruction in order to prevent any electrical blackout that could be triggered by trees, by contact or by fall.
The innovative LIFE Elia-RTE project (funded partly by EU) decided to think about alternative methods that could ensure not only electrical safety, but also enhance biodiversity ! These methods should aim at protecting species and natural habitats encompassed by the European Natura 2000 legislation. Indeed, for a good ecological state, we need core areas and connection corridors. This is where high-tension lines have a strong potential to be converted as green corridor for biodiversity.
On a 30 years timescale, biodiversity-friendly vegetation management has been estimated to be 1.4 to 3.9 cheaper than traditional vegetation management ! And not only for its cost savings, it also brings many other benefits.
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