At the start of Europe's largest solar trade show, Intersolar, VDE Renewables and Munich Re announced the expansion of their strategic partnership in the field of photovoltaic installations today. The goal of the two partners is to give the banking, finance, and insurance sectors confidence in solar investments. "To increase demand for photovoltaic investments, the market needs confidence that solar plants will operate safely and profitably for 30 years. This includes long-term performance guarantees with tailored insurance solutions," explain VDE Renewables and Munich Re. A team of experts from VDE Renewables and Munich Re, led by Ulrike Jahn an expert at VDE and this year's winner of the European Commission's internationally recognized Becquerel Prize, has developed a performance and criteria catalogue that both verifies the technical quality of the product and includes the necessary continuous checks of the production sites.
Significant risks without quality assurance
Their investigations were based on evaluations of various studies and analyses by the International Energy Agency (IEA)1 and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE)2 on the quality, sustainability, and profitability of solar systems. Throughout the process, experts noticed that significant risks arise from PV module failure or performance degradation if professional quality assurance is not undertaken, starting with the due diligence process, and continuing through the manufacturing of solar components and stringent factory monitoring. "Ulrike Jahn and her team have revised the performance and criteria catalogue all round. It makes use of cutting-edge industry tools as well as working off more than 30 years of experience and best practices in the solar industry," says Burkhard Holder, VDE Renewables managing director. "With the continuous integration of inspection audits directly at the manufacturing level, we reduce the technical, as well as the economic risks and create the basis for high-quality insurance solutions together with our long-standing partner Munich Re," Holder continues.
Increasing long-term profitability
To date, Munich Re has audited more than 300 production sites of photovoltaic systems and modules worldwide. Together with VDE Renewables, the reinsurance group has continuously adapted the requirements for insurance products at a pioneering level. The aim is to increase the long-term profitability of PV plants. Munich Re presented its new insurance product today, which is designed to help secure the long-term profitability of solar investments. "I am pleased that with our long-standing partner VDE Renewables we can now offer new insurance products that also support planning security. Our premium product sunSure+ consolidates stability and market confidence and improves bankability as well as achieving attractive financing conditions," said Michael Schrempp, Head of Green Tech Solutions at Munich Re. "Together with VDE Renewables, we want to establish new market standards with our approaches and further increase the long-term profitability of investing in solar power plants," Schrempp adds.
1 Performance, Operation and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems - IEA-PVPS
2 Study: Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System - The German Energy Transition in its Social Context (fraunhofer.de)