Risk management for the renewable energy sector
The production of electric and thermal energy from renewable resources has long been omnipresent. The ratios of combined heat and power biomass plants, biofermentation plants, biogas or composting plants are steadily increasing and gaining ground viewed in relation to all generating plants which are operated to meet the country's energy demand.
Operating parameters of the different types of systems vary considerably, and the potential loss scenarios, which you as operator are exposed to, are just as diverse. The priorities to be set for your risk and insurance management depend on the type and size of your plant.
Combined heat and power biomass plants for example, which ususally serve public utility infrastructure, operate, in principle, just like conventional combustion plants, with the only difference that biomass (usually from wood) is exclusively used as energy carrier. Although the quality of wood (classification) may have an effect to boiler operation, the patterns of damage are similar to those of mechanical, physical or chemical origin found in conventional generating units.
Biofermentation and biogas plants are more likely to be affected by explosion or mechanical damage to the stirrer. In addition, property damage and financial losses are imminent in case that production processes are interrupted due to killed bacteria strains.
While high-investment combined heat and power biomass plants usually have effective operation and risk management schemes in place, many biogas plants are operated on a smaller scale by private and less experienced plant owners. The insurance industry, unsurprisingly, is rather sceptical about this, in particular in view of damage to machinery.
We closely observe and accompany the developments in the renewable energies market, and engage in dialogue with the insurance industry in order to help shape the product portfolio available on the market, and thus making sure that we can provide you with adequate insurance protection.