Renewable Power Generation is Gaining Popularity
Power from solar, wind, and other renewable sources is set for major acceleration in 2022 and beyond. Consider these statistics:
Our engineers are watching these trends:
- Hail. Once confined to traditional “hail alley” regions like Texas and Colorado, hailstorms are now damaging regions all over North America. The costliest year on record was 2017, when hailstorms led to $22 billion in damage in the United States. Some solar panels can resist hail, but others can’t. As climate change brings more severe weather, companies can mitigate risk by:
- Orienting panels against the wind and angling panels to reduce the impact from hail.
- Installing panels with thicker glass, designed to resist damage from larger hailstones.
- Wildfire. Wildfires destroy solar installations. Smoke damage causes solar generation to drop considerably. In 2021, 58,288 wildfires burned 7.8 million acres across the United States. Protect your installation from wildfire by clearing a defensible space around the site and keeping fuel loads of vegetation to a minimum. Protect against starting a wildfire by creating a formal maintenance plan that includes thermal scanning of the arrays, inverters, and transformers. Also, conduct regular inspections of the line(s) connecting the plant to the grid.
- Inflation. More than half (56%) of 2022’s expected utility-scale solar projects could face delays or cancellations due to rising costs of raw materials and supply chain constraints. The cost for photovoltaic solar modules has risen nearly 50% from 2020 to 2021 (from under $0.20 per watt peak (Wp) in 2020 to between $0.26 and $0.28/Wp). One key component called polysilicon has increased in price 300% since July 2020. We think these price increases will continue through 2022.
- Declining tax credit. The Solar Investment Tax Credit pays for 26% of expenses for commercial customers through 2023. After that, it drops to 10%. In turn, businesses are acting fast to take advantage, driving up demand for solar installations and component parts.
- Site selection. Solar siting has become increasingly important – and will continue through 2022 and beyond. Finding locations with proper sunlight that aren’t being used for agriculture – and aren’t in high flood zones – is no easy task. The greater the known natural catastrophe risks, the higher the insurance costs and greater the risk of losses. There are many considerations that go into any renewable utility investment, but careful site selection is one of the best opportunities to mitigate the frequency and severity of loss potential at a solar farm.
Partner With TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultants To Assess The Risks of Your Solar Project
The most experienced power generation engineering team. TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultants has expert engineers with world-class experience. We develop industry standards, and our risk mitigation practices are best-in-class.
- Trusted by nearly 20% of Fortune 500 companies
- We have serviced facilities valued in excess of $4 trillion
- Get projects financed fast with the most trusted risk reports in the industry
“The unbundled nature of GRC’s services ensures that we are receiving loss control services that put our needs first. The reports provided by GRC’s staff are clear, concise and actionable and we consider them an integral partner in our overall loss control program.” - David Schwartzer, Risk Manager at Henkel Corporation
Have a question about risk engineering in solar? Curious about risk inspections? Contact us for a no-hassle conversation.