Insuring Solar Photovoltaics: Challenges and Possible Solutions; (Revised)

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Insuring solar photovoltaic (PV) systems poses certain challenges. Insurance premiums, which can represent a significant part of overall costs for PV developers, can affect market competition. The market for certain types of insurance products is limited. Historical loss data is lacking, and test data for the long-term viability of PV products under real-life conditions is limited. Insurers' knowledge about PV systems and the PV industry is uneven even as the industry introduces innovative contractual structures and business models. Interviews conducted for this report with PV project developers, insurance brokers, and underwriters suggest government actions aimed at better testing, data collection, and communication could facilitate the development of a market for PV insurance products. This report identifies actions by governments, national laboratories, and other stakeholders that could accelerate the development of insurance products in support PV systems. Such actions include: increasing understanding of the solar PV industry among insurance professionals; expanding the availability of PV historical loss data; evaluating the expansion of renewable energy business classification; developing module and component testing capabilities and services offered by federal labs; and, advancing industry standards for PV system installers.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages53
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Supercedes December 2009 version.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A2-46932


  • insurance availability
  • insurance brokers
  • insurance costs
  • insurance markets
  • insurance premiums
  • insurance products
  • insurance rates
  • interviews
  • photovoltaic systems
  • PV developers
  • PV systems
  • United States


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