Environmental Briefings

ENA's environment committee has produced a series of environment briefings providing general information on current environmental issues relevant to the activities of member companies.

  Sulphur Hexafluoride

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is a gas with excellent electrical insulation and other properties, which have led to its widespread use in electrical switchgear and in a number of other industrial applications. However, there is concern over the SF6 that escapes into the atmosphere since it is a potent greenhouse gas.

The Kyoto Protocol to the Climate Change Convention has recognised the need to curb emissions of all greenhouse gases, including SF6. This briefing looks at the uses of SF6, its potential impact on the environment and the implications for the electricity industry.

  Transporting Electricity
The Electricity Act 1989 requires electricity companies to maintain an efficient and economical system of electricity transmission and supply and to have regard to protecting the environment. Since electricity can be transmitted through overhead lines or underground cables, this briefing looks at the pros and cons of these alternatives.

Complaints about industrial noise have increased substantially but the fastest growing volume of complaints concerned neighbours (particularly their music, dogs and DIY) and aircraft. This briefing looks at the effects of noise pollution and means of controlling it.

  Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are man-made chemicals that are are chemically inert, stable at high temperatures and flame resistant. They accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals and humans via the food chain and toxic effects have been reported in wildlife.

Because PCBs are fire-resistant, they’ve been used widely in electrical equipment. In the past, they’ve also been used in some wire/cable coatings and in insulation. Using PCBs to make these products is now banned. 

  Contaminated Land
All industrialised nations, including the UK, have a legacy of land thathas been contaminated by past human activities. Many areas are contaminated to varying degrees with naturally occurring materials, such as tin, arsenic, and cadmium. Major industries which have been in existence for a number of decades, including the electricity industry, may own or occupy contaminated sites.

This briefing outlines the issues and describes how the UK electricity transmission and distribution industry is dealing with its own legacy of potentially contaminated land.

ENA is a Trade Association Forum (TAF) Climate Change Declaration Signatory

The TAF Declaration on Climate Change provides the opportunity for TAF members publicly to declare their commitment to action on climate change. Appropriate actions will include both reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases and adapting to the unavoidable changes that we can expect in our weather and climate.

For more information visit the TAF website here