Make Renewable Energy Projects Successful with Project Management Part 2
In this second part we will take a closer look at some additional risks and challenges that renewable energy projects face and how project management can help you deal with them. You can control some risks, such as quality and personnel, but there are events you cannot anticipate or control, such as natural hazards
Considering that renewable energy technology is evolving at a very quick pace, it is sometimes hard to keep up with it. Whether a renewable energy project is successful or not often depends on internal and even more on external factors, which is why there is a need for skilled project managers in this sector. Implementing project management tools and methods can help organizations in the renewable energy industry develop and deliver high quality systems more quickly and at lower costs, mostly because they are able to anticipate and mitigate risks as a result of thorough planning.
Further Risks and Challenges of Renewable Energy Projects and how to overcome them
Development and Quality
The renewable energy market is a fast growing one, as a consequence it needs a large quantity of qualified and experienced human resources that can deal with the technical demands of this field. But renewables are not just in competition with fossil fuels when it comes to energy supply, but also when it comes to skilled talent. This shortage of talent can pose a significant risk for renewable energy projects. They might be able to overcome other challenges, but without people, it is impossible to execute a project, let alone successfully.
The first step is to employ an experienced project manager with the necessary planning and technological skills to manage a renewables project. The project manager also needs to have the skill to choose the right people, i.e. engineers, support staff etc., and manage them properly so that they can do a good job and deliver a quality product in the end. Qualified staff can help avoid or at least decrease renewable technology issues, which in turn decreases schedule and cost risks.
Many problems can be anticipated beforehand, e.g. getting a license might take longer than usual, but for renewable energy projects, there are events that nobody can foresee: the force of nature. Planning for a renewable energy project needs to take the natural environment and weather conditions into account.
For example, it would be unwise to erect a wind turbine, which is extremely heavy, on unstable ground. The wind turbines also need to be suitable for the wind speed at that particular location. Other weather related challenges could be that a sudden hurricane might prevent workers getting to the construction site, or harsh winter conditions result in a stop of the project construction for a while.