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Risk in Context Podcast: Unlocking the potential of renewable energy investments

The global shift towards clean energy is driving a surge in interest for renewable energy initiatives.

The global shift towards clean energy is driving a surge in interest for renewable energy initiatives. In the first six months of 2023, US$358 billion was invested worldwide in renewable energy projects.

In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act is fueling substantial economic investment by offering tax incentives that aim to reduce the costs associated with renewable energy projects, enabling them to compete with traditional energy sources. While these incentives are proving attractive to foreign entities eager to participate in the clean energy transition in the US, investing in large-scale projects can present unique challenges, particularly when investors are unfamiliar with the specific risks associated with these ventures.

In this episode of Risk in Context, Alex Ackerman, Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services Practice Leader for North America, speaks with Doug Halvorson, a Managing Director in Marsh’s M&A Practice, Ben Roberts, a Senior Client Executive in Marsh’s Global Energy & Power Practice, and Mei Shibata, a Partner in Oliver Wyman’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice. They talk about the questions that foreign investors tend to ask as they embark on renewable energy investments in the US, discuss the potential risks that they should be aware of, and share strategies that should be considered when managing these exposures.

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Key takeaways

Increased interest in renewable energy investments

The Inflation Reduction Act is spurring significant interest from foreign entities looking to invest in renewable energy projects in the US. But lack of familiarity with US-specific risks and opportunities may lead to challenges in tapping into tax incentives and securing adequate insurance coverage.

Early broker involvement can aid project success

Insurance purchasing is often one of the largest recurring expenses for renewable energy projects and there may be a gap between what lenders expect and what is available on the insurance market. Before entering into contractual obligations, consider involving your broker or insurance advisor to determine the cost and availability of insurance for your project.

Strategic thinking and long-term planning critical

Successfully completing a renewable energy project requires a disciplined approach, strategic thinking, and a well-defined roadmap applied to acquisition strategies, including tapping into tax incentives, risk financing, and insurance purchasing. 

About our speakers

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Alexander Ackermann

North America Private Equity and M&A Services Practice Leader

  • United States

Alex Ackermann is the leader of Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services Group, based in the New York office. In this role, his responsibilities include the oversight of development and coordination of private equity relationships, due diligence support, structuring portfolio programs, and providing transitional oversight between pre and post close insurance issues. He has more than 15 years of experience in the risk and insurance brokerage industry advising on a wide range of topics specific to private equity and alternative asset investors. His experience spans the transaction lifecycle from pre-acquisition diligence to transactional liability solutions, as well as structuring and managing portfolio programs globally. 

Benjamin Roberts

Ben Roberts

Senior Vice President, Northeast Power & Renewables Leader

  • United States

Ben Roberts is a senior client executive in Marsh’s Global Energy & Power Practice. His portfolio of clients includes renewable energy IPPs, thermal IPPs, integrated oil and gas majors active in the energy transition, and independent HVDC transmission where he specializes in servicing debt and tax equity financed projects and asset portfolios for both domestic and international clients. He is also part of Marsh’s Global Offshore Wind Executive Committee and is a founding member of Marsh’s Global Renewable Energy Practice.

Doug Halvorson

Doug Halvorson

Managing Director, Private Equity and M&A Services Practice, Marsh

  • United States

Doug Halvorson is a Senior Relationship Officer and Portfolio Manager within Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services Practice. He works with the firm’s largest private equity and infrastructure fund clients on all aspects of their insurance needs. He started his career in the insurance industry in 1994 as part of Marsh’s Global Property Practice, serving multinational risk management clients.

Mei Shibata

Mei Shibata

Partner, Energy & Natural Resources Practice, Oliver Wyman

  • United States

Mei Shibata is a Partner in Oliver Wyman’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice, focused on the energy transition and scaling energy innovations. She has led a diverse range of strategy projects for energy clients, spanning CRM road-mapping, M&A targets and valuations, new customer energy solutions, organizational effectiveness, and more.

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