2012 Top Five Energy Sector Risks and Why

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By Jay Vincent, The Saint Consulting Group

I thought it might be valuable to try to create a top five facility types of energy that face extreme permitting risk in 2012 and why.  I take a stab below.  Your views are welcome.  Hit me up at vincent@tscg.biz.

5.            Wind Energy Plants

Renewing the Production Tax Credit is priority number one for the industry.  Moving past that issue, the traditional NIMBY issues and opposition campaigns will likely impact the industry nominally in 2012.

4.            Transmission Projects

These linear type land use projects will continue to be opposed but tracking analysis indicate that national and regional stakeholders are not focused here.

3.            Oil and Gas Related Facilities

Expanding the capacity of the nation’s refineries seems to be inevitable as more and more crude is produced domestically.  Additionally more and more natural gas production means more processing facilities.  We see this is of particular concern to natural gas producers and exploration companies.

2.            Power Plants

Just in recent days activists climbed a coal fired power plant in the south and hung a banner on it demanding an end to mountain top mining.  Existing and soon to be proposed power plants whether coal or natural gas fired can count on well-funded and loud opposition.

1.            Pipelines

The Keystone XL decision hands down is what put this use at the top of the list.  Attacking the infrastructure of the energy industry is a key tactic and core part of the national opposition’s strategy.  Right, now they are winning!

Jay Vincent is senior vice president for energy for The Saint Consulting Group, email vincent@tscg.biz

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