The insurance industry has expressed concern over the quality of work and the standards employed in the renewable energy sector here, questioning the measures put in place to reduce the risk of major accidents and possible disaster.
“To what extent risk management features have gone into some of the work that we have seen and have been asked to insure? And we believe that measures to reduce the chance of loss by fire . . . overheating, explosion; we believe measures should be put in place to address these,” President of the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) Davis Browne said.
Addressing a renewable energy and energy efficiency workshop this week, the insurance executive lamented the lack of minimum standards, charging that this was the case across the sector, from manufacturing and installation through to the testing and maintenance phases.
“We need to perhaps look at our registration and licensing regime . . . We need to look at inspectors to inspect the installations and perhaps do this on an annual basis or so.
“At the construction side, again, what standard of construction is being employed? We have different contractors and different levels of expertise involved in the sector and that does raise some concerns to us. We do believe that again there should be some minimum industry standard,” said Browne, adding that insurers were also concerned about the practices during connection, wiring, joining and grounding stages.
“We have concerns about the installations, the panels on top of the
roofs they are missing standards in terms of how these things should be bolted. We have concerns about the number of heavy panels being placed on roofs and because we are not provided with information, we
are wondering whether an inspection was done prior to installation and after installation.”
The GIAB boss concluded that there was also need for minimum standards in the development of contracts between manufacturers and vendors and the consumers, between contractors and installers and property owners.
This, he said, would help to determine where the liability lies in the event there was a dispute.