ThemesThe Risk Profiles of "Green" Technologies and Practices

A flower lying on a piece of Aerogel being held over a flame; a buckled road after an earthquake in Chuetsu, Japan.

While there is well-founded interest in potential downsides of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies, in the vast majority of the cases these technologies reduce everyday insurance risks while trimming greenhouse-gas emissions that will challenge insurers in the longer term.

Some of these dual benefits involve enhanced disaster resilience [PDF], while others involve other types of losses. Taken together, these technologies and practices comprise potent "no-regrets" responses to climate change.

Energy efficiency also manages financial risks [PDF] associated with energy price volatility, and offers financial benefits in many cases (e.g. in the business case for green buildings [PDF]).

We have also made the case that the proper deployment of energy-efficient and renewable technologies helps mitigate liability risks [PDF] associated with greenhouse-gas emissions.

Last but not least, many green technologies and practices reduce the greenhouse-gas that will cause increased insured catastrophe losses [PDF] in the future.

Database of Climate-Friendly Technologies

In 1998, LBNL assembled an inventory of technologies developed or supported within the US DOE national laboratory system. About 80 examples of technologies that reduce energy use and/or greenhouse-gas emissions, while providing insurance loss-prevention benefits were documented in "Energy-Efficiency and Renewable Energy Options For Risk Management and Insurance Loss Reduction: An Inventory of Technologies, Research Capabilities, and Research Facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Laboratories." [Report PDF] [Appendices PDF] Many more similar technologies exist, although this database has not been updated since 1998.

Selected Examples [many more in the links above]