Risk communication in the expansion of the power grid


The expansion of the German power grid is of paramount importance to the success of the energy transition and keeping energy affordable in the future. While a majority of the German population may vote in favour of renewable energy, the picture often changes when it comes to the local expansion of transmission lines. Frequently, discussions focus on concerns and reservations about new electricity lines in the neighbourhood: people raise fears about health risks due to the electrical and magnetic fields.

Concerned citizens often turn to people in their immediate environment, such as doctors, teachers or representatives of local authorities, with unanswered questions and concerns. In this way, trusted individuals could function as important mediators of knowledge on the subject of electrical and magnetic fields, helping allay any fear or uncertainty and conveying knowledge and reassurance. The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) would like to provide such individuals with the knowledge and skills to meet the information needs of citizens and impart in-depth information about the effects of electromagnetic fields due to power lines

For this project, adelphi designed and developed advanced training courses for local knowledge providers. The project included the scientific preparation of the available knowledge, the conception and design of online training formats, as well as the development of analogue and digital information events for teachers and doctors in communities affected by the expansion of the power grid.