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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

Solar and wind power have become cornerstones of the low-carbon economy. But those technologies face financial threats that jeopardize project developments globally – along with the ability of other companies to meet Net Zero and alternative energy goals. Financial Times reports that:

“A surge in financing costs due to rising interest rates, along with higher prices for many of the materials that go into today’s giant turbines, have led some developers to back out of power sales or subsidy deals covering certain projects, mainly in the US and the UK, and put others under pressure. 

‘Offshore wind projects around the world have faced a triple whammy of high supply chain inflation, rising interest rates and a reluctance on the part of governments to adjust auction parameters to respond to these new market conditions as they prioritise keeping costs to consumers down,’ says Simon Virley, UK head of energy at KPMG.”

Specific to the US, E&E News EnergyWire reported last week:

“Developers are taking billion-dollar losses due to the industry’s exploding costs and the dropping value of assets. Two companies in Massachusetts walked away from deals that they said did not cover costs. New York regulators rebuffed attempts to renegotiate contracts with wind companies for higher prices, casting uncertainty over the future of several wind farms off the state’s coast. Meanwhile, the supply chain of businesses to support offshore wind construction has expanded too slowly to meet the needs of proposals.”

It isn’t just corporate goals that are under siege:

“… analysts increasingly doubt whether governments’ demanding targets for the technology will be met on time. Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie estimates that to meet 135 offshore wind targets set by governments around the world since 2021 would require more than 60GW to be installed in 2029 and 77GW in 2030. That compares to the 3GW installed on average each year, outside China, between 2015 and 2021.”

These concerns and possible shortfalls reverberate through energy supply chains. Potentially impacted organizations should consider contingency plans and alternatives to current Scope 2 climate commitments. Earlier this month, we published our checklist Identifying & Updating Climate Risks and Uncertainties with ten categories of specific potential risks/uncertainties companies can evaluate/monitor to help get ahead of developing problems like this. Are you a member with access to this resource, along with many others? If not, sign up now and take advantage of our no-risk “100-Day Promise” – during the first 100 days as an activated member, you may cancel for any reason and receive a full refund.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile