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    Renewable energies: 

    • As a risk carrier, Munich Re supports technological development 

    • Experience with similar technologies is helpful in the design of covers 

    • Munich Re presents itself at the first International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn

    At the first International Conference for Renewable Energies (renewables 2004), which will take place in Bonn from 1 to 4 June 2004, Munich Re will be demonstrating its expert knowledge with regard to the scientific and technological principles, the risk circumstances, and the relevance of renewable energies in the insurance context. Further information on the conference may be found at

    Munich Re supports the development of renewable energies by providing insurance solutions. It thus contributes towards reducing emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases and towards combating the causes of losses from weather-related extreme events. Stefan Heyd, the Board member whose responsibilities include corporate underwriting: "Renewable energies are comparatively new terrain, for which there are no reliable loss statistics as yet. But thanks to our specialist expertise and experience in similar technologies, we are in a position to offer innovative coverage concepts."

    Wind power plants in particular have often been a cause of surprise to manufacturers and operators and to their insurers. There has been an accumulation of similar losses affecting large numbers of plants of the same design, for example in the gearing. This is due to the fact that the high mechanical load exerted on these components by gusts of wind, for instance, had been underestimated.

    In the design of new insurance products, however, Munich Re can draw on the experience it has gained from the insurance of conventional plants. Its experience with onshore wind power plants serves as a basis for the insurance of wind power plants at sea. In 2002, it was thus possible to make a sound assessment of the risks involved in the construction of the world's largest offshore wind farm, Horns Rev in Denmark, and to set risk-adequate premiums and conditions. With the thorough and comprehensive advice it provided at the preliminary stage, Munich Re also made a contribution towards the avoidance or minimisation of risks.

    Munich Re acts as a consultant and risk carrier in other fields of renewable energy too, such as the extraction of hot water from the earth's interior. As far as this technology is concerned, the biggest investment hurdle so far has been the geological risk, which revolves around the question whether the borehole will produce any hot water at all and if so, whether the amount will be sufficient. In the specific case of the geothermal project in Unterhaching near Munich, the first European private-sector insurance for the geological risk of a deep borehole was made possible by Munich Re. The policy covers the economic loss that would arise if no water is found. As Heyd says, "The insurance of the geothermal project is a pilot project in the field of underwriting and indirectly a contribution towards environmental protection."

    The EU has committed all its member states – including the acceding countries – to promote the generation of power from renewable sources. By the year 2010, the share of renewable energy sources in the production of electricity is to be doubled from its 1997 level. In Germany, the share is to be raised from 4.5% to 12.5% in the same period. The focus is on the rapid development of power generation from wind and water energy, solar energy, and biomass. It will require great efforts on the part of industry and the insurance sector. By providing innovative insurance solutions, Munich Re is making a significant contribution towards achieving this goal

    The new Munich Re publication "Renewable energies – Insuring a technology of the future" looks in detail at the opportunities and risks of renewable energies from the insurers' perspective

    Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft
    signed Heyd           signed Küppers

    This media information contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the management of Munich Re. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements given here and the actual development, in particular the results, financial situation and performance of our Company. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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