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Appendix: Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) - Strategy Plan 2008
Energinet.dk is subject to the Danish Act implementing the EU directive 2001/42/EC on the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on the Environment. This appendix to Strategy Plan 2008 describes how Energinet.dk complies with the provisions of the Act and gives an account of the first experience gained and the current strategic environmental assessments (SEAs). The future purpose of the appendix is to give an account of SEAs prepared on the topics described in the strategy plans. The aim of implementing SEAs in Energinet.dk is to make environmental considerations a systematic part of the strategic decision-making process and ensure that strategic decisions are made on a qualified and informed basis. Environmental aspects will thus be included on equal footing with, for example, economic and technical aspects. The SEA work is therefore expected to support the Strategy Plan in areas where environmental and climate considerations are an important and integral part. The electricity and gas transmission systems will be developed in the years to come, for instance through large investments in new international connections. The scope of this development emphasises the importance of integrating environmental considerations into the strategic decision-making process.

19 November 2008 PBP/ANL

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Implementing SEA in Energinet.dk

According to the Danish Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Act, SEAs are required of plans and programmes setting the framework for future development consents likely to significantly impact the environment, and of plans and programmes likely to have a significant effect on areas designated under the EC Habitat Directive. Energinet.dk has chosen to undertake a SEA of the specific plans and programmes forming the basis of the strategic decisions and not of Strategy Plan 2008 as a publication. The reason for this choice is that strategic decisions are not made in statutory publications but through strategic decisions about specific infrastructure initiatives.

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For each plan or programme involving a strategic decision about infrastructure initiatives, a SEA process will be carried out in accordance with current rules. The results of these SEA processes are subject to mandatory publication and will also be presented in summary form in similar appendices to future strategy plans. Energinet.dk focuses particularly on incorporating strategic environmental assessments into the strategic decision-making process preceding the launching of large infrastructure projects in the electricity and gas transmission systems. SEAs at this particular level throw light on the overall impacts and alternatives, thus providing a good starting point for the subsequent and more detailed environmental impact assessments (EIAs) of construction work and environmental assessments of local authority planning. Energinet.dk aims to disseminate the experience gained in the use of SEAs to other players in the Danish energy sector. Overall, the sector faces the same challenges, and knowledge sharing of SEAs and the environmental impacts of strategic alternatives is therefore relevant. Also, environmental assessment work at a strategic level will often affect nonDanish players. The development of SEAs in Energinet.dk will therefore have an international dimension, and SEAs may become an integral part of the interaction with foreign cooperation partners.

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SEAs carried out

The introduction of SEAs of strategic decisions is based on Energinet.dk's previous experience with environmental assessments. In addition to preparing EIA analyses, Energinet.dk has also carried out SEA processes in connection with local authorities' planning of two specific electricity infrastructure projects. The two projects for which Energinet.dk has been responsible involved substations. Besides the SEA processes at local authority level, Energinet.dk has been involved in SEA-like processes in connection with cable projects. The current rules governing the assessment of certain public and private facilities' impact on the environment (EIA) do not comprise the laying of electric cables. Instead, Energinet.dk has undertaken environmental assessment processes very similar to SEAs, including consultations, assessment of a wide range of environmental aspects and in-depth environmental statements. This has been the case in the following projects: The Great Belt Power Link project. The project includes the construction of an HVDC substation at the existing 400 kV Fraugde substation east of Odense, a 400 kV DC cable for a new substation and HVDC facilities at Herslev substation on Zealand. The Horns Rev 2 project. The project comprises the construction of a substation at the offshore wind farm, a 150 kV AC cable to the connection point at the existing Endrup substation.

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Where the Great Belt Power Link project is concerned, an environmental statement was prepared for the Great Belt submarine cable, and various studies of environmental and natural conditions were carried out in connection with the 26 km line routing for the land cable. The Danish Energy Agency conducted a simultaneous consultation with other public authorities where Energinet.dk's environmental statements were discussed.

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The Horns Rev II process also involved prior consultation with authorities: In consideration of the planning process and the overall time schedule, Energinet.dk consulted the relevant authorities in the early stages of the process to be able to allow for significant reservations and comments in the actual application.

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SEAs in progress

SEAs are particularly relevant when strategic decisions are to be made about infrastructure expansion. Electricity and gas infrastructure expansion is in the pipeline, and SEAs are being prepared of the strategic choices involved in the expansion plans.

1.3.1

Gas infrastructure expansion

Using the expansion plans for the gas infrastructure described in the Plan for Security of Natural Gas Supply as starting point, a SEA is being prepared. The environmental assessment is to form part of the overall decision basis for the investment decision on equal footing with economic and technical analyses. Gas infrastructure expansion has been underway for many years, and the SEA therefore follows up on previous environmental analyses, supplementing with analyses of the different expansion alternatives. In the environmental assessment, the primary alternatives are considered to be a zero-investment alternative, a minimum alternative and a main alternative involving the construction of Skanled, Baltic Pipe and Ellund border point which also requires reinforcement of the domestic gas infrastructure. As environmental impacts in international waters are covered by environmental assessments in accordance with the Espoo convention, SEA solely deals with domestic impacts. The impacts cover a wide range of environmental aspects, and the impact assessment is based on relevant, national objectives. Energinet.dk has chosen to undertake a SEA of the planning of the gas infrastructure expansion as a pilot project. For that reason the project is observed by a wide group of Energinet.dk employees who may become involved with SEAs. The project is also used to disseminate experience and set a precedent for future SEAs.

1.3.2

Electricity infrastructure expansion

Because of the challenges which the electricity infrastructure will be facing in the years to come, the present electricity system needs to be changed and modified. In particular, emphasis will be on increasing capacity by constructing international connections. In this respect, the strategic decisions must also be based on environmental analyses of the options. Energinet.dk wants to increase the capacity of the south-bound interconnections. This can be achieved by reinforcing the present interconnections to Germany (the Kontek HVDC link from the island of Falster and the AC link from Jutland). However, new possibilities have also emerged. The decision basis for a possible offshore cable (COBRA) to the Netherlands is being prepared. Energinet.dk is in close dialogue with TenneT, the Dutch TSO, on using SEAs in the decision-making process as a supplement to international

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environmental assessments in accordance with the Espoo convention and the more detailed EIA analyses and environmental assessments of local authority planning.

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