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What are the risks to your wind energy farm?

In Q4 2020, 37% of the electricity supply within the UK was produced by renewables, which was mainly driven by high volumes of wind generation.1 By December 2020, there were 10,961 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of over 24.1 gigawatts – 13.7 gigawatts of onshore capacity and 10.4 gigawatts of offshore capacity.2

The UK Government is committed to a major expansion of offshore capacity by 2030.3 As with any renewable energy there are advantages and disadvantages to wind energy. But what are the risks you need to consider for your wind energy project when it comes to wind energy insurance?

What are the advantages of wind energy?

The main advantages of wind energy include:

  1. Eco-friendly and sustainable – wind energy is entirely clean source of energy and unlike fossil fuels, wind will never run out.

  2. Cheap to generate – while the initial infrastructure costs are high, once it’s up a running, it is a low cost source of energy to generate.

  3. Creation of wind energy jobs – as the wind energy sector expands this will create jobs such as engineers, project managers, wind turbine technicians and designers.

  4. Reduces reliance on imported energy – as a home grown energy it reduces our reliance on energy imports from abroad and can give us better control over energy prices.

  5. Efficient use of space – while onshore wind farms need plenty of space between turbines, the land in between can often be utilised for agricultural purposes. Similarly, offshore wind farms take up relatively small amounts of space and don’t interfere with shipping lanes.

What are the disadvantages of wind energy?

The disadvantages of wind energy include:

  1. Inconsistent and unreliable – we are lucky in the UK to receive a high amount of wind, but wind energy is governed by Mother Nature so it is difficult to rely on it.

  2. High initial investment – planning and implementing a new wind farm is an expensive investment, especially offshore wind farms due to the logistical issues of installing wind turbines in water.

  3. Imposition to local residents – one drawback to some is the noise they generate and obstruction of views to local homeowners, which can cause anger.4

What do you need to consider for wind energy insurance?

If you’re considering a wind energy farm project, here are the key considerations for the wind energy insurance to cover your business against construction and operational risks:

  • Wind turbine insurance, including material damage, business interruption, mechanical and electrical breakdown
  • construction
  • advanced loss of revenue
  • employers’ liability
  • public and products liability
  • environmental impairment liability
  • directors and officers.

Managing your wind energy project risks

We appreciate that while there are many common risks inherent in renewable energy projects, individual operating methods can often result in distinct and different risk impacts. That’s why we recommend speaking to an insurance broker with in-depth knowledge of the renewable energy sector who will spend the time getting to know you and your unique challenges.

If you have any questions or would like more information, speak to one of our renewable energy experts.

Sources: 

1. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/data-portal/electricity-generation-mix-quarter-and-fuel-source-gb 
2. https://www.renewableuk.com/page/UKWEDhome
3. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/853886/Queen_s_Speech_December_2019_-_background_briefing_notes.pdf
4. https://theswitch.co.uk/energy/guides/renewables/wind-energy


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Keith Tree
Keith has a wealth of insurance knowledge going back to 1991 and has worked for some of the largest insurance brokers and insurers in the World. He has been supporting clients in the renewable energy sector for over 15 years and works closely with his industry connections to deliver the best outcome for his clients.

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