European energy storage market held back by regulation, Greece further ahead, says battery insurtech group Altelium

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In Europe, energy storage is still held back by regulation, although Greece is a bit further ahead, specialist battery insurance group Altelium told Energy-Storage.news while discussing take-up of its new product.

The company has seen a “phenomenal response” to its new all-risk battery energy storage system (BESS) insurance solution, managing director Ed Grimston claimed.

The product was launched in May in partnership with MS Amlin Underwriting, as reported by Energy-Storage.news. Altelium said it is the world’s first data-driven BESS insured warranty programme and Grimston said the product has seen a lot of enquiries from the EV and storage space.

“In energy storage we’re being asked to consult on design and build because there is so much synergy with our due diligence and risk assessment for warranty programmes as well as OAR (operational all risk) and CAR (construction all risk) policies,” he said.

“In terms of use case for batteries in storage we’re looking at both first and second life, and although we were initially looking at just battery installations, we have seen interest in battery-solar and battery-wind. Our core focus is up to 30MW-sized BESS, although we’re also open to larger opportunities.”

In terms of geographies, Grimston highlights the UK, US, Australia, South Korea and India as the main sources of enquiries. Altelium is getting some from continental Europe too but the energy storage market there is still held back by regulation, he said, adding that Greece is a little further ahead.

“Post-Ukraine [invasion] the market has become more dynamic. Costs and uncertainties have gone up a great deal, and so the need to improve return from batteries and minimise risk has increased. Insurance is being taken more seriously and there is more focus on second life batteries as supply is such a massive issue,” he added.

The market’s interest in Altelium’s insurance products in general stems from, or is helped by, traditional insurance products’ lack of suitability for batteries used in storage.

“‘Traditional’ insurance products are based on market information, and this just isn’t an option for batteries, we haven’t seen the full life cycle of these products on the market to assess the risk, so there has to be a different approach,” he said.

“Our focus is on the battery health, and the safety and application of the systems that interface with the battery. Where we add value is that we can see whether a battery can be run harder, or is running too hard, or heading towards failure that may be preventable.”

Co-founder Charley Grimston wrote an article for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power in Q2 of this year, in which he laid out the importance of data-driven insurance products in de-risking and opening up the battery storage market.

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