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close this bookEnvironmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)
close this folderMining and energy
close this folder42. Power transmission and distribution
View the document1. Scope
View the document2. Environmental impacts and protective measures
View the document3. Notes on the analysis and evaluation of environmental impacts and on occupational safety standards
View the document4. Interaction with other sectors
View the document5. Summary assessment of environmental relevance
View the document6. References

5. Summary assessment of environmental relevance

The aforementioned environmental impacts and their consequences are evaluated below, and potential means of minimization and avoidance are proposed.

Landscape consumption in the form of pressure on natural resources (soil, vegetation) and destruction of landscape is generally unavoidable, though adequate attention to environmental concerns at the planning stage can at least diminish its consequences.

Appropriate structural measures can be adopted to reduce, but not eliminate, the hazard for birds posed by overhead power lines.

The danger of accidents for humans emanating from transmission and distribution installations can be reduced by strict adherence to existing, recognized rules, regulations and standards. Relevant training and sensitization are crucial in this area.

The emissions (noise, corona conduction) of power transmission and distribution installations can be reduced to negligible levels by appropriate technical means. The use of liquids containing PCBs in transformer substations still constitutes a substantial hazard potential in that such liquids are liable to escape to the environment as a result of equipment malfunction or accident (leakage, fire). Consequently, the use of components and equipment containing PCBs should be globally prohibited, and existing equipment should be replaced.

Compared to other means of energy conveyance (road, rail, water, pipeline) the transmission of electricity involves a modest, though by no means negligible, risk. Whenever new facilities for transmitting and distributing electric power are deemed absolutely necessary (e.g., if there is no possibility of opting for noncentralized power generation), appropriate low-impact approaches should be sought out.

The easiest and most effective way to minimize or completely avoid harmful environmental impacts is to conscientiously allow for environmental concerns from the planning stage on.