Global Standards

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Adam Barber
September 9, 2012
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Global Standards

Clipboards, hard hats and fluorescent jackets. Three pieces of kit that are so fundamentally linked with the construction and the energy markets that they’re easy to overlook.

However, for the offshore wind developer and the utilities, they’re the sorts of thing that send shivers down the spine; since they’re intrinsically linked with rules, regulations and officialdom.

And perhaps most pertinently, with independent authorities asking uncomfortable (but necessary) questions that could quickly upset the status quo.

So why the worry?

In short, because despite the headway that’s already been made, utilities and developers alike remain terrified of losing their permits. A decision that, while they can to some extent help influence and steer, remains steadfastly outside of their control.

And that’s significant. Since it holds the key to not just the future of the individual project success, but more often than not, to the success of the wider business too. These then, are big bets.

Within the UK, it’s for precisely this reason that those at the top have signed up to the Offshore Wind Developers Forum, as wellagreeing to guidelines for onshore and offshore wind developments. These are both significant initiatives, since they help reduce this risk and to instil greater clarity, consistency and control.

However, to date, establishing this level of common consensus is unique to the UK.

That means that the governance is focused exclusively on one territory – albeit the one that is, for now at least, the largest and most established. A fact that raises important questions about international commonality and consensus, and that underlines the longer-term requirement for a more inclusive set of standards.

For their part, continental Europe has already raised questions about how effectively the existing UK guidelines can be monitored and policed. While in its extreme this can be achieved through permit revoke, it might be a little ham-fisted if it were the only way to make the point.

Time then, to take a fresh look at this area of the market and in doing so, to establish a more comprehensive set of guidelines that begin to bridge territorial borders.

In doing so, the market will be pushed to consider different scales of governance and to find commonality at a global, national and local level. Such a task may seem daunting and may be beyond the ambitions of the opportunistic developer. However, such standardisation can only help the future permitting process and more broadly, drive down cost.

Clipboards, hard hats and fluorescent jackets. Three pieces of kit that are so fundamentally linked with the construction and the energy markets that they’re easy to overlook.

However, for the offshore wind developer and the utilities, they’re the sorts of thing that send shivers down the spine; since they’re intrinsically linked with rules, regulations and officialdom.

And perhaps most pertinently, with independent authorities asking uncomfortable (but necessary) questions that could quickly upset the status quo.

So why the worry?

In short, because despite the headway that’s already been made, utilities and developers alike remain terrified of losing their permits. A decision that, while they can to some extent help influence and steer, remains steadfastly outside of their control.

And that’s significant. Since it holds the key to not just the future of the individual project success, but more often than not, to the success of the wider business too. These then, are big bets.

Within the UK, it’s for precisely this reason that those at the top have signed up to the Offshore Wind Developers Forum, as wellagreeing to guidelines for onshore and offshore wind developments. These are both significant initiatives, since they help reduce this risk and to instil greater clarity, consistency and control.

However, to date, establishing this level of common consensus is unique to the UK.

That means that the governance is focused exclusively on one territory – albeit the one that is, for now at least, the largest and most established. A fact that raises important questions about international commonality and consensus, and that underlines the longer-term requirement for a more inclusive set of standards.

For their part, continental Europe has already raised questions about how effectively the existing UK guidelines can be monitored and policed. While in its extreme this can be achieved through permit revoke, it might be a little ham-fisted if it were the only way to make the point.

Time then, to take a fresh look at this area of the market and in doing so, to establish a more comprehensive set of guidelines that begin to bridge territorial borders.

In doing so, the market will be pushed to consider different scales of governance and to find commonality at a global, national and local level. Such a task may seem daunting and may be beyond the ambitions of the opportunistic developer. However, such standardisation can only help the future permitting process and more broadly, drive down cost.

Clipboards, hard hats and fluorescent jackets. Three pieces of kit that are so fundamentally linked with the construction and the energy markets that they’re easy to overlook.

However, for the offshore wind developer and the utilities, they’re the sorts of thing that send shivers down the spine; since they’re intrinsically linked with rules, regulations and officialdom.

And perhaps most pertinently, with independent authorities asking uncomfortable (but necessary) questions that could quickly upset the status quo.

So why the worry?

In short, because despite the headway that’s already been made, utilities and developers alike remain terrified of losing their permits. A decision that, while they can to some extent help influence and steer, remains steadfastly outside of their control.

And that’s significant. Since it holds the key to not just the future of the individual project success, but more often than not, to the success of the wider business too. These then, are big bets.

Within the UK, it’s for precisely this reason that those at the top have signed up to the Offshore Wind Developers Forum, as wellagreeing to guidelines for onshore and offshore wind developments. These are both significant initiatives, since they help reduce this risk and to instil greater clarity, consistency and control.

However, to date, establishing this level of common consensus is unique to the UK.

That means that the governance is focused exclusively on one territory – albeit the one that is, for now at least, the largest and most established. A fact that raises important questions about international commonality and consensus, and that underlines the longer-term requirement for a more inclusive set of standards.

For their part, continental Europe has already raised questions about how effectively the existing UK guidelines can be monitored and policed. While in its extreme this can be achieved through permit revoke, it might be a little ham-fisted if it were the only way to make the point.

Time then, to take a fresh look at this area of the market and in doing so, to establish a more comprehensive set of guidelines that begin to bridge territorial borders.

In doing so, the market will be pushed to consider different scales of governance and to find commonality at a global, national and local level. Such a task may seem daunting and may be beyond the ambitions of the opportunistic developer. However, such standardisation can only help the future permitting process and more broadly, drive down cost.

Clipboards, hard hats and fluorescent jackets. Three pieces of kit that are so fundamentally linked with the construction and the energy markets that they’re easy to overlook.

However, for the offshore wind developer and the utilities, they’re the sorts of thing that send shivers down the spine; since they’re intrinsically linked with rules, regulations and officialdom.

And perhaps most pertinently, with independent authorities asking uncomfortable (but necessary) questions that could quickly upset the status quo.

So why the worry?

In short, because despite the headway that’s already been made, utilities and developers alike remain terrified of losing their permits. A decision that, while they can to some extent help influence and steer, remains steadfastly outside of their control.

And that’s significant. Since it holds the key to not just the future of the individual project success, but more often than not, to the success of the wider business too. These then, are big bets.

Within the UK, it’s for precisely this reason that those at the top have signed up to the Offshore Wind Developers Forum, as wellagreeing to guidelines for onshore and offshore wind developments. These are both significant initiatives, since they help reduce this risk and to instil greater clarity, consistency and control.

However, to date, establishing this level of common consensus is unique to the UK.

That means that the governance is focused exclusively on one territory – albeit the one that is, for now at least, the largest and most established. A fact that raises important questions about international commonality and consensus, and that underlines the longer-term requirement for a more inclusive set of standards.

For their part, continental Europe has already raised questions about how effectively the existing UK guidelines can be monitored and policed. While in its extreme this can be achieved through permit revoke, it might be a little ham-fisted if it were the only way to make the point.

Time then, to take a fresh look at this area of the market and in doing so, to establish a more comprehensive set of guidelines that begin to bridge territorial borders.

In doing so, the market will be pushed to consider different scales of governance and to find commonality at a global, national and local level. Such a task may seem daunting and may be beyond the ambitions of the opportunistic developer. However, such standardisation can only help the future permitting process and more broadly, drive down cost.

Clipboards, hard hats and fluorescent jackets. Three pieces of kit that are so fundamentally linked with the construction and the energy markets that they’re easy to overlook.

However, for the offshore wind developer and the utilities, they’re the sorts of thing that send shivers down the spine; since they’re intrinsically linked with rules, regulations and officialdom.

And perhaps most pertinently, with independent authorities asking uncomfortable (but necessary) questions that could quickly upset the status quo.

So why the worry?

In short, because despite the headway that’s already been made, utilities and developers alike remain terrified of losing their permits. A decision that, while they can to some extent help influence and steer, remains steadfastly outside of their control.

And that’s significant. Since it holds the key to not just the future of the individual project success, but more often than not, to the success of the wider business too. These then, are big bets.

Within the UK, it’s for precisely this reason that those at the top have signed up to the Offshore Wind Developers Forum, as wellagreeing to guidelines for onshore and offshore wind developments. These are both significant initiatives, since they help reduce this risk and to instil greater clarity, consistency and control.

However, to date, establishing this level of common consensus is unique to the UK.

That means that the governance is focused exclusively on one territory – albeit the one that is, for now at least, the largest and most established. A fact that raises important questions about international commonality and consensus, and that underlines the longer-term requirement for a more inclusive set of standards.

For their part, continental Europe has already raised questions about how effectively the existing UK guidelines can be monitored and policed. While in its extreme this can be achieved through permit revoke, it might be a little ham-fisted if it were the only way to make the point.

Time then, to take a fresh look at this area of the market and in doing so, to establish a more comprehensive set of guidelines that begin to bridge territorial borders.

In doing so, the market will be pushed to consider different scales of governance and to find commonality at a global, national and local level. Such a task may seem daunting and may be beyond the ambitions of the opportunistic developer. However, such standardisation can only help the future permitting process and more broadly, drive down cost.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.