Distribution of electricity

Distribution is a core part of our operation – it is how we supply our customers with our main product: electricity. Distribution of electricity through networks affects the environment in different ways: they change the landscape visually, they demand resources and they generate emissions.

The main environmental impacts

The risk of oil leakage from the transformers to soil and water is the most significant impact. We reduce that risk by equipping all large transformers with oil collector containers and replace transformers mounted on poles in water protection areas with indoor transformers equipped with oil collector containers.

Sulphuric hexafluoride (SF6) is a colourless, odourless greenhouse gas used for insulation. It is highly potent; 22,800 times more potent than CO2 in terms of climate effect. We do not use large quantities and when technically feasible alternatives are at hand we phase it out or substitute it with a less damaging substance.

The overhead distribution lines can disturb land and biodiversity. We take active measures to reduce that impact. We are equipping the power lines with devices to prevent birds from flying into them. We are performing right-of-way clearance, meaning that we trim and manage the surrounding vegetation so that is does not come in contact with the distribution lines. 

In Sweden, many rare species have found refuge around the overhead distribution lines.

Electromagnetic fields

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) – or rather electric and magnetic fields – appear in the surrounding of all electrical equipment including power lines.

  • The electric fields produced by outdoor electric equipment do not make their way inside the home. These electric fields are screened by plants and building materials.
  • The magnetic fields are strongly dependent on the distance to the source, but are not screened by normal building material. This means that there are normally relatively high levels of magnetic fields in houses near power lines.
  • Despite many years of research, there is no proof as to whether or not these magnetic fields have a long-term negative affect on people.
  • We apply the precautionary principle saying that we are reducing fields that deviate greatly from what is considered normal in each specific area when possible at reasonable costs.
  • We follow international guidelines and recommendations issued by The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Also, we look at the policy development within the European Union and the respective countries that we operate in.
Last updated: 2014-07-02 12:30