In just the last 5 years, the average severity of solar photovoltaic (PV) industry insurance claims has risen by around 87%, according to a new GCube Underwriting analysis.
The analysis found that weather-related losses were responsible for around half of all solar PV industry insurance claims in North America, and around a quarter of all claims worldwide. The biggest culprits were apparently floods, tornadoes, and hailstorms, but other factors came into play as well, including: lightning storms; component theft (copper wire, etc.); and electrical surges, failure, and interruptions.
The new findings from the renewables industry insurance firm suggest that as so called “extreme weather” events become more and more common over the coming years and decades, losses and claims will increase substantially — if effective mitigation steps aren’t taken.
Interestingly, component theft was responsible for over a quarter of insurance claims outside of North America, with the issue being a particularly notable one in parts of Southern Europe — presumably due to the economic troubles there (and the easy money to be “made” stealing copper component parts).
The analysis notes that steps need to be taken to cut or contain the trends in solar project damage from extreme weather and other matters in order to keep investor interest strong.
The author of the new analysis, and head of business development at GCube Underwriting, Jatin Sharma, commented: “As we’ve recently seen with the Californian wildfires, extreme weather-related conditions and their aftermath can pose a very real threat to solar energy assets and surrounding infrastructure, operating in increasingly testing environments worldwide.”
For those who haven’t heard much on the subject, the extensive smoke cover seen in parts of California this summer as a result of the wildfires has hit solar PV project output (and thus revenue as well) somewhat. With extensive wildfire outbreaks looking likely to increase in California and elsewhere in the coming years, production output losses at solar PV projects in affected regions will become more common.
Related: This. Means. WAR.
Photo via Democracy Now.