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Publication Renewable Energies

Overall survey of Engeneering Insurers within the German Insurance Association (GDV) on the level of technical development and technical hazard potential.

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© Unsplash / Karsten Wurth

The negotiations at the Paris climate summit COP21 in December 2015 resulted in a breakthrough. For the first time, all 195 signatory states at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) committed themselves to common goals for the protection of and adaptation to the world’s changing climate and the number of ratifications required to make the agreement effective was reached just under a year later. The so-called Paris Accord came into effect on November 4, 2016. In this treaty, which is now binding under international law, the signatories commit to keeping the average rise in global temperatures significantly below 2 ° C and, if possible even below 1.5 ° C.

These targets, as it became clear during the Paris negotiations, could only be achieved if the world’s economy were to forego CO2 emissions altogether by the second half of the century.

In 2003, the GDV (Association of German Insurers) published the dossier “Renewable Energies” for the first time. Changes in technology and a rapid expansion of renewable energies are accompanied by an increasing demand for renewables-specific insurance policies. In addition to classic coverage against damages during construction and operation, there is a new demand among investors for delivery guarantee coverage, i. e. insurance against interannual fluctuations in solar radiation and wind speed. Consequently, in recent years the insurance industry has been developing novel products including coverage for premature ageing of photovoltaiccells. Based on products like these, the insurance industry takes on part of the producers’ and/or investors’ risks, rendering investments in these technologies more attractive and thereby indirectly promoting climate protection.

Covering such risks in an economical and competitive way calls for appropriate prices and conditions. Therefore the assessment of the individual risk situations, based on extensive engineering expertise, is indispensable. To document the knowledge available today and provided access to it, the project group “renewable energies”, initiated by GDV engineering insurers, has produced this ninth edition of the publication. It offers an overview of the state-of-the-art technologies and discusses the technical risk potential for plants converting sun, wind, water, geothermal heat and biomass into usable energy.