There are environmental and social challenges to address in the power sector whether owner/operators are using renewable fuels or fossil fuels. ERM is working to advise clients across all fuel types.
ERM assists utilities with making the most sustainable choices in power generation and transmission, with our team working to minimize the environmental and social impact of conventional and renewable power plants.
From air quality and greenhouse gases to transmission lines and water impacts, we help clients mitigate their contribution and exposure to climate change and deliver cleaner energy.
ERM supports clients at every stage of the power development and generation process, including:
- Identifying and assessing sites for renewables and conventional power plants and new transmission lines;
- Securing permits for new facilities and transmission grids;
- Enabling compliance with existing and emerging environmental legislation; and
- Decommissioning and cleaning up legacy sites.
Through our projects, ERM is helping to change how the world sources its power for generations to come.
Climate Change Adaptation Study for Renewable Energy Assets in APAC
As the focus on sources of renewable energy increases, ERM has been at the forefront helping clients determine the benefits and impacts of potential transitions to solar, hydro, wind and other forms of sustainable power, as well as helping to build the resilience of the renewable energy assets in the face of a changing climate.
ERM performed a climate change adaptation study for a confidential multinational power company. The study assessed climate change risk and identified and prioritized climate change adaptation options for selected renewable energy assets, including a hydropower plant in China and wind farm assets in India.
ERM undertook site visits and workshops to understand historical and current climate risks, then analyzed the latest climate models to understand how the physical climate risk profile could change at each location, and how this could impact operations. We assessed a variety of adaptation measures and completed a cost-benefit analysis to develop the business case for climate adaptation. As a result, ERM provided the client with a series of cost-effective and practical options for building climate resilience in the renewable energy assets.
Aligning Renewable Energy Projects in Uganda with International Standards
The Global Energy Transfer Feed-In Tariff GET FiT Program - jointly developed by the Government of Uganda, the Electricity Regulatory Agency, the German Development Bank KfW and Deutsche Bank - is designed to assist East African nations in pursuing climate-resilient low-carbon development resulting in growth, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation.
Through the GET FiT Program, up to 15 small-scale renewable energy-generation projects will be fast-tracked, promoted by private developers under the Government's Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFiT) scheme. It is expected that the Program will add roughly 170 megawatts, or an additional 20 percent of installed capacity, to the Ugandan electricity grid within the next three to five years.
ERM provided detailed input for the assessment of the project portfolio under the first Request for Proposal in 2013, against International Finance Corporation Performance Standards. Thorough environmental and social due diligence, along with a financial and technical analysis, enabled KfW to select eligible projects to receive a Premium Payment from GET FiT on top of the regulated REfIT. A set of Conditions Precedent for the developer finance agreements was drafted based on the analysis.
ERM Hosts Film Screening on Unconventional Energy Resources
In February 2014, ERM's Houston, Texas, office hosted a screening of the film Energy's Crossroads: Pinedale, WY, by filmmaker Gregory Kallenberg. The film addresses the social challenges around developing unconventional sources of energy in the United States, with a particular focus on how to engage in a less-polarized dialogue with the "rational middle" of society.
Following the screening, a panel representing the oil and gas industry and a policy think tank, discussed key questions around understanding the social impacts from unconventional energy resources and avoiding the negative social aspects of booming development. The level of engagement underlined the importance of managing non-technical risks as part of major energy projects.
The audience of nearly 40 people included executive and operational leaders, as well as public affairs, environment and community specialists from major energy companies. A representative from the office of Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, chair of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee, attended the screening, highlighting the degree of national interest in this important and sometimes controversial topic.
Valery Kucherov, Moscow, Russia
Cultivating Sustainable Business in Eurasia
As the Performance & Assurance Practice Lead and Sustainability Program Director in the Eurasia BU, my position provides me with the opportunity to participate in addressing the region's unique sustainability challenges, together with the BU Managing Partner Sergey Bourtsev. The GHG footprint in the area is greater than in other geographies due to very long in-country travel distances, which necessitates extensive use of planes. It is also difficult to recruit skilled labor due to limited availability of suitable candidates.
ERM provides services that have a direct and positive impact on our clients' ability to manage their sustainability footprint, by supporting development and implementation of HSE management systems, deployment of performance improvement programs, senior leadership trainings, etc. We also support the development of sustainability reports, advancement of projects in the renewables/alternative energy sector (such as windfarm development) and improvement of safety performance through innovative services such as safety leadership coaching and training programs.