International financial services provider Allianz AG says it is to invest some EUR 300-500 million in wind farms over the next five years through its London-based subsidiary Allianz Specialised Investments (ASI). The group estimates that the wind power market will double over the next five years. Last year Allianz acquired gearbox supplier Hansen Technology, whose main business is manufacturing gears for wind turbines. According to ASI's Bill Calcraft, the company's equity commitment will focus on operating renewable assets -- primarily wind -- in Western Europe. Allianz intends to be a long term investor, he says, adding that a well constructed portfolio of renewable energy assets is a perfect fit with the group's insurance and other interests. Allianz announced its intentions in the green power sector as it launched a report, "Climate Change and the Financial Sector: An Agenda for Action," with the World Wildlife Fund. The report outlines steps to integrate risks from climate change into the insurance, banking and asset management business. "Climate change creates significant costs for the financial industry, says Allianz board member Joachim Faber. The group says the severity and frequency of natural disasters have increased due to a changing climate; as a result its insurance business is seeing an increase in the potential for property damage at a rate of 2-4% each year.
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