?Non-financial aspects really matter for the finance guys? in emerging wind energy markets

Transparency, administrative procedures of a known length and a low risk of changes to the legal framework are amongst the most crucial elements for emerging wind power markets. That’s according to results from a study by Germany’s Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), presented on Tuesday at the European Wind Energy Association 2011 Annual Event.

Christian Friebe, who presented the findings, said it was elements like these, which “don’t appear on cash flow statements”, that are as important as the financing side for wind power developers in emerging markets, defined as everything other than Europe, North America, India and China.

Other important elements for developers include a feed-in tariff support system and guaranteed grid access, Friebe said. However, the one stop shop approach for administrative procedures often seen as desirable in mature markets was considered a risk, as having one body look after all the processes can bring a lack of transparency in countries with little or no wind energy experience.

“What we learn is that policy-makers in these places can increase the attractiveness of their country at little cost – by increasing transparency, setting a clear duration for the approval process, and guaranteeing no unforeseen policy changes”, concluded Friebe.

The study, which was conducted as part of the project “CFI – ClimateChange, Financial markets and Innovation” and funded by the German government research ministry, was based on interviews and a survey of project developers, all of whom has experience in the markets in question. The results will be made public in May on the project website www.cfi21.org.

By Sarah Azau, blog.ewea.org/