July 4, 2012

Windfarm businesses fail to take out right insurance

by Sion Barry, Western Mail | www.walesonline.co.uk 4 July 2012

A rise has been reported in businesses setting up windfarms without the right insurance cover.

The number of windfarms across Europe rose by 11% last year, with an estimated 5,000 applications for windfarms being processed in the UK alone according to Bluefin Insurance.

There are currently 77 windfarms operational, under construction or going through the planning process at the moment in Wales.

With the capital cost of windturbines falling and the government’s “feed-in” tariff, which offers businesses financial incentives for installing renewable energy, coming up for review in September, the industry has experienced a spike in applications, particularly from the agricultural sector who are branching out into the renewable energy industry as a means of supplementing their traditional income.

David Wilson, who leads Bluefin’s team of renewable energy insurance specialists, said: “A lot of people are not fully aware of the insurance risks involved in setting up a windfarm.

“Usually the manufacturer and contractor will provide a basic level of cover, however this often only provides cover against damage to the wind turbine itself and does not provide any cover in respect of delayed start-up or advanced loss of profits, or the dozens of other potential risks associated with setting up a windfarm which can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost revenue or profit.

“The risks start from the moment the wind turbine or ancillary equipment are in transit from the manufacturers to the site.

“If something gets damaged, it could easily take six months to replace the damaged item as the equipment is so specialised, potentially leading to significant loss of earnings.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/07/04/windfarm-businesses-fail-to-take-out-right-insurance/