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Green Energy Project Risks: The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly

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Move over, Good, Bad and Ugly. The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly are now in town – and they’ve got some dirty tricks up their sleeves.

Specifically, they are not about your green energy projects, and they want you to know it. The following list of project development risks is present no matter what type of green energy you’re pursuing, where you’re citing it, or to whom you’re related. (A direct descendent of Booker T. Washington can’t even get environmental permits in a timely fashion now?? Have some respect!)

Happily, you can employ a few risk management strategies to minimize the impact of these choke points on your project life cycle … and the world. Keep reading to find out.

The Bad

Let’s start with the merely unpleasant. These growing realities have made it harder to find land and stake it out for renewable energy technologies, and they’re gumming up the works.

The Land Grab

As our green energy and sustainability needs increase, suitable land has become ever more precious. There’s a true land grab on, with everyone trying to identify suitable project sites.

Of course, there are only so many suitable places: flat, relatively arid land with good sunlight or wind access. Of course, they also need to be located near utility lines and power demand, and you need to store the generated wattage effectively. It’s a challenge, to say the least.

In other words, everyone’s you-know-what is on fire. As we try to figure out which parcels will work, we tread on each other’s toes and make the whole process harder.

The Bird Dogs

And then, of course, we’ve got the bird dogs. These companies or individuals are all about identifying that land before the next guy and getting their cut. They draw up long lists of potential sites, then sell them to the highest bidder(s).

In some ways, this is a valuable service, given how time-consuming it is to find suitable land. In other ways, it just increases the flurry of activity and makes it harder to land on good … well, land.

Green Energy Project Risks


The Worse

Aaaaaand the worse are here. This is what makes your breakfast taste like cardboard, and the board room feels like an Iron Maiden. The ever-growing desperation to combine large-scale clean power with the ever-higher hurdles you must clear to provide it is a heady mixture indeed. And not in a good way.

Agonizingly Long Environmental Permitting Process

One of the main problems with getting renewable energy projects off the ground today is the environmental permitting process. Usually, you can find a suitable site and have the resources to move forward with development. So, what’s standing between your excellent plan and a great solar power plant? Permits. They’re hard to get. The permitting line is long. And that creates a huge bottleneck that will only get worse with time.

There is currently more land being developed across multiple industries than ever before. Everyone is jockeying for the same pool of environmental consultants. Now to add insane to injury, there is currently the least amount of new environmental consultants graduating from higher education. Supply and demand be dammed!

Unmet Energy Goals

It doesn’t matter how lofty our environmental goals are if we can’t figure out how to jump that permitting line. Well, actually, a way to get rid of the line.

We’ll pay the price if we don't, says the Brookings Institution. It is unlikely in the extreme that we’re going to meet our clean energy targets with the current environmental due diligence process. We have to find another way.

Environmental Consultants

As if the permitting process and its attendant effects on energy goals weren’t bad enough, then we’ve got the environmental consultants.

Now, we don’t want to be too mean here. After all, we believe (kind of) that these people mean well. And we used to try and provide many of those same services. But in our experience, far too many people in the industry are in it not for the Earth but for themselves.

In a nutshell, environmental consultants have been, until now, a necessary factor in your risk mitigation and getting permits. They know how to dig up the reports, see the regulations and find the information you need on any given site. Sadly, most of them take advantage of their gatekeeper function by charging more than necessary, failing to provide meaningful timelines, and holding up the entire process.

The environmental consultant line is also getting longer by the day! They bill by the hour and drag their feet. And that stops your project timeline like hitting a brick wall. Unfortunately, this bottleneck is already getting worse.

There is currently more land being developed across multiple industries than ever before. Everyone is jockeying for the same pool of environmental consultants. Now to add insane to injury, there is currently the least amount of new environmental consultants graduating from higher education. Supply and demand be dammed!


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The Ugly

As if the above weren’t enough to drive you to the latest stress management app, here comes the ugly. These are the Big Bad Wolves of the environmental sector, designed to pad out your nightmares for years (decades!) to come. Boasting increasingly furious weather patterns and thoroughly maimed projects, the ugly side of environmental permitting will wear you down no matter how Herculean your constitution.

Increased Climate Change

Let’s start with the really fun stuff: climate change. No one needs to tell you that It’s A Big Freaking Problem.

That’s why you’re here in the first place, after all.

What you might not know? Not only will climate change continue to worsen until we address our fossil fuel addiction (and likely for years after we make the sustainable energy transition permanently), but climate change itself will also slow down projects.

Yes, you heard right. Including climate change factors in the permitting process will ensure slower lead times on clean power generation projects and reduce overall green energy development rates. Fun!

Missed Timelines and Bloated Budgets

As it becomes more challenging to complete renewable projects, we will see more missed deadlines and more scope creep. That, in turn, will mean less energy, more suspicious investors, and a tarnished green energy image. So … also fun.

Okay, now that we’ve populated your mind palace with enough ghosts to last a lifetime, we’ll share some good news: there is a solution. If you can streamline the permitting process and avoid waiting around foreveeeerrrrr to get through the environmental due diligence process, you can:

  • Get projects off the ground faster
  • See more projects through to completion every year
  • Improve profitability and earn more trust from your investors, financial institutions, and stakeholders
  • Fuel citizens’ power needs
  • Restore the public’s faith in green energy
Green Energy


Transect: The Solution You Need on the Timeline You Want

Bottom line: the environmental permitting process is broken. And unless you enjoy sleepless nights and the occasional ulcer, we’re guessing your spirit is broken right along with it. Ours certainly were for years, which is why we invented our platform of advanced technologies to help you streamline solar power and wind power projects fast.

No longer must you wait weeks, months, or even years to see solar energy, wind energy, and other energy industry projects get approved. Now you can print out bank-ready environmental desktop reports about potential development sites in mere minutes. Save weeks on end and thousands upon thousands of dollars in cash flow with our environmental due diligence solutions. The system might be broken, but we’re fixing it with every single report that helps you avoid the agonizing environmental due diligence line and move forward.

Want to learn more about what we do and how we can help you today? We invite you to get in touch or schedule a demo now. There’s no time like the present to accelerate your development efforts and save Mother Earth, so let’s do this.

Read more about the broken environmental permitting system in our eBook below!

Get the eBook that exposes the broken system