Willis Germany Launches Photovoltaic Insurance Cover

Willis Germany, part of global insurance broker Willis Group, is to demonstrate Willis Electronic Plus, an insurance product for photovoltaic systems, at the 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition in Frankfurt on 25-28 September. The group’s political risk expert will also speak at the event on the rise of resource nationalism and its impact on the renewables sector.

Willis Electronic Plus provides solar panel manufacturers, developers and dealers with all-risk insurance protection against property or revenue losses caused by property damage. It also puts in place cover against yield reduction due to a lower outcome of the forecast annual energy yield. Other special features of the solar insurance product include a guarantee to the owner and lenders of a minimum 90% revenue return and coverage that can be provided for almost all high-quality panels.

“As solar power grows in popularity across Europe, photovoltaic businesses, and in particular banks and investors, are looking for comprehensive all-risk insurance in addition to cover for financing risks like the liquidation of a manufacturer or developer,” said  Axel Paulsen, leader of Willis Germany’s renewable energy team. “Willis Electronic Plus coverage is placed for up to 10 years and is not cancellable, giving lending institutions a greater degree of confidence when it comes to financing photovoltaic projects.”

Willis Germany added that as natural resources become scarcer and global demand for energy continues to grow, renewable energy investors and project lenders are increasingly looking for new opportunities in high risk markets. Andrew van den Born, Willis’ political and credit risk expert, will focus on this topic at the conference in a speech entitled: ‘The Rise of Resource Nationalism: Why Political Risk Insurance Matters’. 

In a presentation to be held at the event on Wednesday 26 September, Van Den Born, executive director of Willis Financial Solutions, will address the risk of government expropriation. He said: “The rise of resource nationalism as witnessed in the Bolivarian republics and Russia, to name but a few, has meant that these risks are ever more prevalent and need to be mitigated. Power projects in emerging markets are often highly politicised and are therefore particularly exposed to government interference. Furthermore, these infrastructure projects require both lenders and investors to commit for long maturities. This means catering for possible actions by future administrations.

“Opposition parties may often electioneer on a platform of providing more affordable electricity. When they come into power there is a very real risk that previously agreed tariffs may be renegotiated or that the new administration may seek a complete abrogation of the power purchase agreement. Political risk insurance can help mitigate these risks.”

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