Climate and environment focus

Climate and environmental considerations represent one of our three strategic focus areas and are an integrated part of the Group strategy. Developing the main grid is an important tool for achieving the national climate goals by facilitating the phase-in of renewable energy.

Respect for our natural environment is important during planning and operation of our facilities. Statnett operates in a way which ensures that the environmental impact of our operations is limited.   

Environmental R&D focus

Several of Statnett's R&D programmes focus on challenges relating to climate and the environment. The R&D programme "Environmental Adaptation of Power Lines" has a special focus on the development of new types of pylons that are adapted to the landscape and natural surroundings. The programme will also study what effects power lines have on flora and fauna. Two of the R&D programmes, Northern European Market for Balancing Power and Offshore Power Grids, also have a climate/environmental dimension, as has the R&D project related to Smart Grid.

The Smart Grid technology enables two-way communication between appliances and applications in, for instance, consumers' homes. The objective is to develop applications that will contribute to a cost-efficient and environmentally sound utilisation of the entire power system.

Environmental Management System

Statnett's Environmental Management System is certified in accordance with ISO 14001:2004. The Environmental Management System is part of the overall management system, and aims to identify the most important environmental aspects of the operations. Statnett is continually working to improve our environmental performance. Our head offices in Oslo and administrative offices in Alta and Sunndalsøra have been certified as Eco-Lighthouses. This means that activities conducted at these offices comply with defined requirements for environmental management and performance.

Statnett has established an HSE-policy which also comprises the external environment. The company has a zero tolerance policy. We conduct our operations in a manner which ensures that the health, safety and working environment of each individual employee is safeguarded.

Any environmental incidents that do occur are recorded and followed up in the Statnett deviation system. In 2011, three incidents occurred relating to Statnett's own operations. The most serious of these was a diesel drip leak at the radio link station Vealøs where it is assumed that between 50 and 80 litres of diesel seeped into the ground. In addition, our contractors reported 12 incidents during work on Statnett's development projects. Two of these were serious: Foundering of the tugboat Alvhilde in the Oslofjord in April which contained approx. 2 000 litres of diesel, as well as the destruction of the biotope of the protected species Sea Holly in Rygge Municipality in September.

Energy optimisation and proximity to public transport were important and decisive factors in the choice of new head offices in Nydalen. Both factors are important elements of the enterprise's own climate initiatives. Like Statnett's new administration offices in Trondheim, the new head offices will be an energy class A office building.

Climate

The most important contribution by Statnett with regards to climate entails constructing the next-generation main grid, facilitating connection of new renewable energy, reconstructing existing power grids and upgrading the voltage in existing power grids to maximise capacity and minimise environmental impact. In addition, Statnett is working to establish new interconnectors which will help reduce carbon emissions on the Continent.

Statnett's own emissions of greenhouse gases are relatively modest. However, we are working continuously to reduce them. Emissions to air such as carbon emissions from operation of back-up gas-fired power plants, SF6 gas installations, and travel in connection with work have been accounted for in Statnett’s climate report. The company's climate contributions with regard to our own consumption (heating, cooling and operation of our office premises and buildings) are zero, as Statnett purchases electricity which is guaranteed to be produced from renewable energy sources. Statnett purchases climate quotas for all company air travel.

Statnett's back-up gas-fired power plants at Nyhamna at Aukra and Tjelbergodden in Aure have not been granted climate quotas in the Norwegian system. However the facilities are subject to quota obligations. Statnett reports emissions to the Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) every year, so that our emission quotas can be balanced. Klif has granted Statnett permission to operate the facilities for up to two days per year for inspection and maintenance purposes. The facilities are primarily intended for use in an emergency situation. In 2010, greenhouse gas emissions from our back-up gas fired power plants totalled 1 982 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. The corresponding figure for 2011 was 2 898 tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

Emissions of SF6 gas from Statnett's SF6 facilities totalled 306 kg and 210 kg in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Converted into CO2 equivalents, the emissions correspond to an environmental impact of 7 300 tonnes and 5 030 tonnes of CO2 in 2010 and 2011, respectively. (1 kg SF6 = 23 900 kg CO2). This entails a reduction of 31 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Climate change also affects Statnett's operations. In 2008, Statnett prepared a report in cooperation with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (DNMI) and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) on the physical impact of climate change on Statnett's transmission facilities. The report evaluates the impact of climate change as changes in wind conditions, increased precipitation and flooding, icing, landslides and avalanches, changes in the groundwater level, etc. The results from the report are used to monitor, maintain and improve Statnett's transmission facilities.

Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalents) Unit 2011 2010 2009
From back-up gas-powered power plants Tonnes 2 898 1 982 14 042
From emissions of SF6 Tonnes 5 030 7 300 9 680
From fuel consumption and heating oil/paraffin Tonnes 728 646 521
From travel in connection with work Tonnes 1 175 1 053 1 139

 

 

Inventory and emissions of SF6 Unit 2011 2010 2009
Inventory as of 31 Dec. kg 111 239  107 447 106 703
Emissions of SF6 kg 210 306 405

 

Energy consumption and grid losses Unit 2011 2010 2009
Electricity (excluding energy losses in transformer stations and grid) GWh 17 17 15
Natural gas for back-up gas-powered power stations Tonnes 1 040 708 5 129
Fuel consumption m3 245 217 176
Grid losses GWh 2 322 2 241 2 232

Biodiversity and disruptions to the landscape

It is Statnett's primary objective to be an environmentally responsible grid developer. This entails incorporating environmental concerns in the company's planning process, choice of solutions, construction and operations. Statnett recognises that our facilities cause interventions in the landscape which will have an impact on biodiversity. It is our responsibility to minimise the negative impact of such interventions and weigh them against the demand for a reliable supply of electricity and socio-economic profitability.

New power lines and transformer stations have a long planning horizon. Statnett is subject to stringent requirements and has to submit a detailed report on the scope of interventions and their impact on biodiversity during the construction and operational phase.

When constructing new power lines, Statnett uses advanced techniques such as laser scanning and 3D terrain modelling in the early stages of the planning phase. This means we can see what the power lines will look like in the landscape. Furthermore, we can adapt our construction plans and choose alternatives that take into account the shape and character of the landscape. 

In the planning stage, we conduct thorough studies of the impact on biodiversity, often running over several seasons. The studies comprise habitats and species, focusing on endangered and vulnerable species in particular. Whenever necessary, we will monitor or implement measures to protect endangered and vulnerable species.

Statnett funds independent research into the effect of power lines on biodiversity. This includes long-term research projects on birds, as well as wild and domesticated reindeer. We have launched a research programme on biodiversity in and near power lines mapping vegetation, insects, birds and mammals.

Grid and cables* Unit 2011 2010
High voltage overhead section km 9 842 9 808
Earth cable and subsea cable km 705 705
Overhead lines in protected area km 300 300

 

* Measured in km of transmission routes and cable routes