Like many businesses, we believe renewable energy has an important role to play in decarbonising the energy market and achieving internationally-agreed emissions targets. As insurance providers, we deal with the impacts of extreme weather every day – on people’s homes and businesses. Due to our unpredictable climate, extreme weather events are becoming increasingly more frequent and severe, so mitigating these impacts mitigates our own exposure to risk too.
We were one of the first insurance companies to protect off-shore wind farms back in the 1990s. By supporting the installation, transport and operation we give investors confidence in renewable projects, enabling their wider roll out and uptake. Today we insure over 80% of all those operating around the world, as well as an impressive 50% of global on-shore wind and solar energy production.
It is crucial that we continue to adapt. Renewable energy is experiencing unprecedented growth. As the need increases, the scale of production is evolving dramatically. Ten years ago, we were insuring wind turbines generating on average 2-3 megawatts each. Now we see single units that can generate up to 8 megawatts – an increase of 300% and enough to power 7,000 European homes.
This is great news for the industry and the environment but it magnifies the risk: interruption to just one turbine can pose a significant impact to grid-connected homes and businesses.
So in 2015, we substantially multiplied our resourcing of turbine malfunction claims. Our own engineers are now involved in repair operations, speeding up the process and making it simpler for customers.
We are also putting our years of insurance expertise to use in the development of off-shore wind projects. By advising contractors during the planning phase, we minimise the potential for any setbacks later in the project and help secure long-term investment.
Our consultancy is not restricted solely to traditional forms of wind power, either. Cutting-edge renewable energy technologies are continually being developed: solar, tidal, bio, even floating wind farms are being tested in Japan, Norway and Portugal with the aid of our advice.
Through our expanding network of experts and in-house centres of excellence, we are well equipped to develop our bespoke consultancy services even further in future, giving our customers what they need whilst remaining at the forefront of the renewable transformation.