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(EN) Green electricity corridors in Europe. Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM): Status, roadblocks and ways forward

With proper management, the land under powerlines can enable and support greater biodiversity. Such management, known as Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), can be used to create green corridors which are a type of green infrastructure. These are strategically-planned networks of natural and semi-natural areas designed and managed to improve biodiversity, protect vulnerable species and provide a wide range of ecosystem services. IVM can benefit multiple habitats and species by increasing plant diversity, which acts as important habitat for multiple bird, pollinator and small mammal species (among others). Although many Transmission System Operators (TSOs) have some form of IVM policy in place, there is still great potential to develop land in power line corridors for the benefit of nature. To understand why TSOs can find it difficult to implement IVM, the consultancy Ecofirst and the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) conducted a benchmarking exercise to understand what the common roadblocks are, what tools would be needed to overcome them and to propose some ways in which IVM policies can be better developed and implemented. The exercise found that the main roadblocks were human rather than technical. Building sustainable partnerships with landowners, convincing those within the TSO itself as well as making a business case for IVM were all recurrent challenges. From the research and further discussions, four main future priorities became clear: - Build mapping tools - Test and share new governance approaches - Prove cost efficiency through costs benefit analysis - Expand the scientific knowledge base. Both RGI and Ecofirst are committed to expanding the positive impact of IVM and are looking to assist in the development of further projects across Europe. Our hope is to test new methods and technologies and help to spread knowledge and the lessons learnt to TSOs, NGOs and other stakeholders.

RGI and Ecofirst 2019 Green electricity corridors in Europe Integrated