Permit delays threaten wind power installations

The lengthy and contracted approval process for wind farms is underpinning demand for insurance cover against the costs created by disputes over permits, although awareness of the available insurance is low, according to research of wind farm developers.

The survey was commissioned by insurance provider CLS Risk Solutions, law firm Fieldfisher and industry body WindEurope. It looked at the most common causes of delay for wind projects and how market participants mitigate and respond to these risks.

Jean-Claude Domaingue, underwriting director at CLS Risk Solutions Limited, said: “Our study found that most wind farm developers and investors would insure against the risk of permit challenges, as they expect the rate of challenges to increase further.”

He added: “However, depending on the market, often developers are not aware that insurance removes some of the risks and uncertainties that permit challenges present and that the security of an insurance policy will improve the bankability of a project and strengthen its quality as a precondition to its insurability.”

More than a third (34%) of those surveyed said they had no standard process for resolving permit challenges.

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