GET FiT follow-up and support
As highlighted in previous GET FiT Annual Reports, the capacity of developers to manage environmental and social risks, including health and safety, has been considerably lower than expected. Weak capacity was reflected in the low E&S scores during appraisals of applications for GET FiT support, also resulting in numerous conditions precedent (CPs) defined by the Investment Committee. An anonymous survey among developers in 2015 confirmed that few of the developers had experience from implementing projects in line with the IFC Performance Standards prior to GET FiT.
The GET FiT Investment Committee defined more than 50 environmental and social CPs across the three RfPs in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The large number of CPs reflected the overall low environmental and social capability of project developers and their consultants and in particular gaps in environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs), resettlement action plan (RAPs), environmental and social management or action plans (ESMPs or ESAPs) and livelihood restoration plans (LRPs). No E&S CPs were cleared in 2017. Cumulatively across the portfolio to date, about 70 % of the environmental and social CPs have been cleared.
GET FiT has spent considerable time advising developers on E&S issues, for instance revisions of studies and management plans and later when implementing plans during construction. Support from GET FiT also included environmental and social workshops for small hydropower, biomass and solar developers and their consultants in June 2014 and October 2015. In 2017, developers continued to express a demand for GET FiT engagement on the management of environmental and social risks. Additional resources have been provided by KfW, and GET FiT in cooperation with ERA continued to support developers in this respect.
With all projects having moved into construction and some entering operation, most of the E&S follow-up in 2017 was in the form of supervision visits to construction sites and preparation for achieving commercial operation and entering the operation phase. The GET FiT Implementation Consultant normally undertook a semi-annual one-day supervision visit to each project under construction to monitor and advise on environmental and social as well as engineering issues. Action points were identified in each visit. The supervision visits continue to prove useful and a necessary part of managing environmental and social risks. A total of 32 project supervision visits to 15 projects were undertaken in 2017. In addition, the first post-COD visit was made in 2017. For several projects, GET FiT shared information and coordinated feedback to developers with the lenders.