/Wind farms, bureaucracy and the challenge to speedy installation

Wind farms, bureaucracy and the challenge to speedy installation

The Klipheuwel Wind Farm, covering over 350 hectares, is located 5km west of Caledon, in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, in the Theewaterskloof Local Municipality. Image: Globeleq
The World Wind Energy Association says installing wind farms takes too long because of government bureaucratic hold-ups.

The WWEA has published a Wind Power Planning and Permitting Index which looks at the performance of countries regarding the duration and reliability of the planning and permitting process for wind farms.

Using a member survey, the WWEA concluded the average international duration of planning a wind farm is 62 months, with the average permitting process taking up 29 months of that time. This contrasts with the fact that technically, wind turbines can be installed in a matter of months.

There is a broad range of time between the faster and slowest countries, and even in some countries a big range in time difference.

In some countries, the planning process is completed in three years or less and permissions are issued in less than a year. In other countries, it can take seven or even more than ten years before the project is implemented. In worst cases, it takes more than five years to get a building permit for a wind farm.

WWEA secretary generation Stefan Gsänger said it is extremely important for governments to understand that if they want to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels, they must accelerate the expansion rate of renewables, and especially wind power.

“The lengthy and bureaucratic approval process is a major bottleneck in the installation of wind turbines.

“There must be clear and predictable timeframes for these processes and social support must be ensured by engaging local communities and maximising the socio-economic benefits for those communities.

By Theresa Smith: https://www.esi-africa.com