Lloyd’s of London first insurer to back kWh guarantee for solar installations
Businesses can now receive a kWh performance guarantee for solar fittings after PV manufacturer Autarco launched a new assurance for its PV systems.
A tailor-made insurance has been developed for the Dutch-based firm from international insurance specialist Lloyd’s of London. Autarco claims that it can offer the guarantee because its solution, which consists of components, design software and monitoring, removes risk.
According to Autarco, the solution ensures that all components such as solar panels, inverters and roof-mounting parts “work seamlessly” with each other. The components work in tandem with innovative software which considers environmental factors and enables installers to determine how much energy can be generated.
Autarco will monitor and analyse the system’s performance after installation. This provides end-users with reliable data about the functionality of their system, according to chief executive Roel van den Berg.
“That’s exactly the offer of Autarco: we optimize the hardware, we measure the performance, we signal possible problems, and therefore we can guarantee the performance and insure it,” he said. “This is done in five-year periods and the settlement of the policy is handled by an independent foundation.
He added: “For us, it’s about trust in solar energy and, of course, our systems in particular. With the insurance proposition, we feel that we can speed up the energy transition.”
If Autarco’s promise of the calculated normal performance is not achieved, then the lost kWhs can be claimed, at a predetermined compensation price per kWh.
Autarco said that industry growth is hampered by the fact the risk of the component brand is moved to the installer and then the end user. But the solar manufacturer insists that end users will no longer have to settle for an expected guarantee without sufficient protection of their bottom-line investment.
In a statement, Lloyd’s of London said: “We have carried out rigid tests on all technology of Autarco in other to be absolutely certain that all risks are well covered by them. It is a unique insurance, which we could not issue until now, since no other market player has been able to do this.”
Solar power was the fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide last year, outstripping the growth in all other forms of power generation for the first time and leading experts to hail a “new era”.
Despite the recent opening of the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm, the prospects for British solar are fairly gloomy: the amount of solar forecast to be installed by 2022 is a fifth of the amount installed over the last five years.