Whilst the potential of the BESS industry is substantial, high-profile incidents have shown that there is still much that needs to be done to prevent the occurrence of serious issues. Fires in Korea, the United States, Belgium and the UK have put the spotlight on quality and management of product. Quick development and innovation are key to building market share, but standards must be kept high. Quality must be assessed throughout the value chain, and third-party certification should be sought to guarantee quality as innovation continues. Potential issues include latent defects and incorrect installation, mainly due to inexperienced contractors and improper management of the battery systems in the operation phase.
Currently, there are various standards to manage these issues, which we are encouraging the industry to adopt. Among these various standards, we support the industry-wide adoption of the national and international fire standards (NFPA855, IFC 2018/20) and battery storage technology that has had large-scale fire testing completed (UL9540a) for all new projects, with retrofits being completed, where possible. This combination of international design standards and testing certification demonstrate risk awareness, analysis and mitigation that will ensure insurability in the long term.
The potential of the battery energy storage industry is immense, and our aim is to be a key insurer globally in this industry. This can only be the case in an industry that manages risk well. Adherence to standards, to produce best in class risk mitigation, as well as closer collaboration between all key stakeholders, will enable this industry to thrive and meet its potential.