Phono Solar introduces Japanese natural disaster cover05. December 2012 | Industry & Suppliers | By: Max Hall/Jonathan Gifford
Chinese solar module manufacturer Phono Solar has launched what it claims is Japan's first natural disaster insurance cover for solar installations.
Phono solar has released a special insurance product for the Japanese market. The aspiring module manufacturer is guaranteeing that all of its products installed in Japan will be covered by a scheme, which will pay for loss of income from government subsidies as well as the cost of lost equipment and property in the event of 'acts of God'.
Yesterday, pv magazine published that the insurance would, rather ironically, not cover damage resultant from tsunami. This is not the case. Phono Solar has clarified that tsunami damage is not explicitly covered in the policy, however it is implicitly covered.
Eric Yuan, marketing manager at Phono Solar, told pv magazine: "Tsunamis are not specifically mentioned in the natural disaster policy because in the case of a tsunami, modules would usually be damaged by an ensuing flood. This damage is already covered under the ‘flood’ clauses of the policy. The policy offered covers ‘direct loss’, a concept used across insurance firms globally, or damage that directly impacts the object insured."
In a statement announcing the insurance, Yuan continued: "Phono Solar takes specific steps to adapt its services to markets around the world and our new interest compensation insurance is an example of this. In a country that is affected significantly by events characterized in legal and insurance terms as 'acts of God', project investors might otherwise be wary of committing to industrial-scale farms.
"This new scheme secures their return on investment, and ensures that PV technology has a place in Japan's renewable energy future."
On installations from 10 kW up to 1 MW, the policy would pay out a standard Yen2 million (US$24,000) for the first 10 kW plus an additional Yen100,000 for each additional kilowatt. Phono Solar confirmed that the settlement for installations above 1 MW in size would be negotiable on a case-by-case basis.
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