Renewable Energy and Clean Technology
With energy challenges facing the U.S. today, environmentally-friendly applications that allow for creative ways of producing sustainable energy have resulted in an explosion of technology and energy combinations. Traditional natural resources are becoming more expensive due to supply and demand and the situation has reached a tipping point. Clean and environmentally-friendly technologies have emerged as part of a movement toward new, sustainable methods of producing cost-competitive energy, while minimizing the release of carbon dioxide and other harmful by-products.
This new breed of companies, who are boldly taking on this challenge by applying their technology know-how and skills to producing energy through more environmentally sound means, face a host of new risk related issues. This specialty practice was launched to help companies who are taking on the challenge of a more sustainable environment.
WGA is a leading innovator in the areas of technology, life sciences, energy and environmental risk management. Our team of experts helped to develop the first generation of insurance policy forms designed to specifically cover advanced technology and power management companies, making WGA’s team uniquely qualified to provide expert risk advice to these new areas of alternative energy, new biofuels and clean technology.
One of WGA’s long time strengths has been to present new complex technology to the underwriting community in a way underwriters can easily understand and within the context of other risks that they assume. This education of the underwriting community is key to obtaining the most comprehensive and cost-effective risk management programs. Having a broker who can interpret your technology ultimately benefits you. Check out WGA’s recent White Paper that addresses the challenges of insuring clean tech projects and how being proactive is key to covering these risks. Or WGA’s White Paper on renewable energy credits and carbon offsets that takes a look at the development of insurance products to support and encourage further investment in renewable energy.
Areas of Risk
As with many emerging technology trends, traditional risks can range from a fire causing a loss in a supply chain, to a lawsuit arising out of a contractual obligation. But for this new area there are lesser known risks facing this class of business. One such area is the difficulty in predicting the revenue stream. Our team has found this to be the most common challenge for renewable energy companies. The difficulty comes in quantifying the time element exposure (Business Interruption), since many rely on production tax credits, renewable energy credits (RECs), CO2 allowances, and other government or regulatory regimes. These subsidies and programs not only vary from region to region, but are not always guaranteed, making it difficult to predict the amount of coverage needed to adequately cover a potential loss to a revenue stream.
Another area of risk is the ownership of cutting-edge Intellectual Property (IP). There are many IP risk issues related to proprietary technology being used to create these new forms of energy. WGA often assists in handling coverage issues related to research and development of new technologies for clients. Read about other issues in WGA’s White Paper on the impact of Global Warming on property insurance.
Risk decreases with experience. WGA’s clients include bio energy developers, ethanol producers, solar panel manufacturers, wind farms, water purification plants, as well as manufacturers of electronics for the alternative energy, hybrid vehicles and transmission grid support. Our teams are well-versed with clients who have complex needs and dynamic business plans.
Our team has expanded our practice to include several new wind developers and their projects. These new additions have WGA providing insurance and risk management services to:
• Over 1,000 megawatts of operating wind projects
• Nearly 600 megawatts of wind projects under construction
• Over 12,000 megawatts of wind projects in various stages of development
Spanning the U.S., these projects are developed and owned by some of the most respected and professional renewable energy companies. These companies continue to apply their expansive knowhow to producing energy through environmentally sound wind projects. Click here to view WGA’s Wind Power Property Map illustrating the location of each of these projects.
WGA is proud to be a sponsor of the Northeast Clean Energy Council, a community of stakeholders and leaders working to create a world-class cluster of clean energy companies in the New England region. The Renewable Energy and Clean Tech team are also active members of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Northeast Energy & Commerce Association, and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). WGA has also joined the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries, supporting the development of large format advanced batteries for use in transportation and large scale energy storage applications in the United States.
If you are among the new leaders who are using technology to try and shape the future by harnessing renewable energy, you should talk with WGA’s team of experts. We can assist you in identifying and quantifying your risks.
For additional information about our Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Practice or other insurance needs, please email WGA at info@WGAins.com, call us at 888-261-8884, or click here to tell us more about your specific needs.