AWEA Update from Windpower 2011 – Down to Business

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By Jay Vincent, The Saint Consulting Group
Senior Vice President – Energy Sector, Practice Leader

Down to business is the way that I would describe last month’s Windpower 2011 in Anaheim.  Gone are the marginal players.  Gone are the speculators looking to make a quick buck on the industry.  Here to stay are the serious developers who can handle dealing with the tough problems that come with industry maturity.

One of those issues is clearly opposition to projects, as my speaking engagement on”Dealing with the Growing Opposition To Wind Power” was well attended.

In past years, opposition was something that may happen or could happen but was not the expectation of developers.  That all has changed.  Every developer I spoke with talked about the growing influence of opposition in their projects.

A number of folks talked about having real problems like endangered species concerns or air space restrictions near the proposed wind farm.  Those problems of course necessitate technical changes to a project.

Unfortunately, though, most developers continue to talk about the phantom problems that NIMBY opponents raise like turbine syndrome or acoustic syndromes.  Those problems don’t have an easy solution, but what I suggested at AWEA resonated well.  I share my points below:

What Drives Growing Opposition:

  1. An Education Gap
  2. Method of Communications and Grassroots Education
  3. Competitive Pressures

Strategies for Mitigating Opposition:

  1. Early Political and Opposition Risk Analysis
  2. Fill Education Gap In Grassroots Way
  3. Rapid Response to Opposition
  4. Early Outreach Before Opposition Arises

For a more thorough description or a personalized presentation, reach out to Jay Vincent for more information at vincent@tscg.biz, phone 312.970.5770 ext. 7501.

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