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Authors

Arne Spieker

Abstract

The German energy system is in a complete overhaul. In the future energy will mainly derive from renewable sources. While in general this is largely socially accepted, new long-range power-lines, needed to distribute that energy, disquiet local communities and lead to political friction. Using stakeholder dialogues, responsible authorities and transmission operators try to direct escalating debates back onto a constructive track. This Article describes the inclusion of public participation in the recently adopted grid expansion acceleration act (NABEG) and a best practice stakeholder dialogue for a high voltage d.c. link. It contextualizes those efforts into the broader debate over citizen participation surrounding large infrastructure projects in Germany. Finally, it gives an outlook on how virtual reality technologies can further facilitate such dialogues through preparing complex issues—like the planning of new energy grids—in a comprehensible manner.

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