Juwi: COVID-19 putting the brakes on renewable project licensing

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Image credit: Juwi

A player behind major solar projects in Europe, the US and others has voiced concerns over COVID-19’s impacts on project permitting, warning it could compound delays driven by other factors.

Approached by PV Tech in recent days, German developer and EPC provider juwi called for governments to intervene as the pandemic forces regulatory bodies to step back, adding fresh obstacles for solar projects progressing through administrative barriers.

“Several licensing authorities have now started to restrict their work,” the firm said in statements emailed to this publication. “In addition, public appointments for project presentations are also cancelled. This will result in further approval delays beyond the previously unspeakable level.”

Governments, the firm went on to say, must step in. “Even though the [coronavirus] crisis is enjoying the highest political attention, governments must now very quickly set the course for the restart of the energy transition,” juwi commented.

Supply delays to start ‘soon’ as work moves online

Juwi’s talk of licensing delays came as the firm claimed it has witnessed “only slight restrictions” in the running of its power plants. Regulations on critical infrastructure, “dedicated” staff and organizational precautions have helped keep its 24/7 control room fully operational, it said.

The German player flagged however upcoming issues with suppliers to both solar and wind projects, adding it expects the delays on this front will start “soon”. The bottlenecks could, juwi added, extend to deployment itself as the pandemic forces to reduce construction teams.

“In project development, our appointments with property owners, appraisers, suppliers, banks and investors are currently taking place under the general hygiene rules – but often digitally instead of personally,” the firm added.

The disruption afflicting the global solar workforce as COVID-19 spreads is being felt across some of the world’s key markets. Just this week, French operators told PV Tech they successfully lobbied the state not to fully postpone tenders, to ensure staff sent home have deadlines to work towards.

200MW-plus PV work in Greece, new 400MW deal in the US

The onset of the COVID-19 crisis finds juwi in the midst of significant solar development and construction work, both in its home market of Germany and beyond.

With headquarters near the German city of Mainz, the firm has become an advocate of mine-side solar systems, having announced its Welzow-Süd 10MW project last May. Over in Greece, the firm recently sold –but will continue to build – a 204.3MWp PV project to oil major HELPE.

Further afield, juwi bagged in January contracts to deploy a 400MW, four-project solar pipeline in the state of Colorado. The milestone came after large-scale EPC contracts in India, South Africa, Turkey and other markets worldwide.

Juwi’s call for government intervention mirrors that of the broader solar industry back in Germany. The country recently opted to freeze auction deadlines, after being urged to protect PV players risking fines and penalties if COVID-19 delays the commissioning of projects.

PV Tech has set up a tracker to map out how the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting solar supply chains worldwide. You can read the latest updates here.

If you have a COVID-19 statement to share or a story on how the pandemic is disrupting a solar business anywhere in the world, do get in touch at jrojo@solarmedia.co.uk or lstoker@solarmedia.co.uk.

Read Next

September 21, 2021
German solar installer Enpal has raised €345 million (US$405 million) in debt financing to fund the deployment of more than 15,000 household solar PV systems
September 21, 2021
Private equity firm American Securities has secured a deal to acquire US solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider Swinerton Renewable Energy and its operations and maintenance (O&M) subsidiary SOLV from Swinerton Incorporated.
September 14, 2021
Renewables developer BayWa r.e. and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have built a new research project to explore how solar systems can protect plants and fruit from extreme weather.
September 14, 2021
Polish renewables developer PAD-RES is to be acquired by a joint venture established by real estate investor Kajima and private equity firm Griffin Real Estate.
September 8, 2021
Solar EPC company iSun has bolstered its presence in the US residential segment through an acquisition of installer SunCommon.
September 7, 2021
Supply disruptions in the coal and gas sectors have contributed to record electricity costs across Europe, leading to calls for more support for renewables generation to mitigate future price rises.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021