Will Safety Concerns Curb the Spread of Wind Power?
Reporters Simone Kaiser and Michael Fröhlingsdorf note that the success of the business could be part of the problem, as factories rush to meet demand and product testing gets short shrift. Whatever the cause, accidents are increasing and turbines are not meeting the manufacturer's claims, and are even exploding:
"Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation. Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years."
Planner Michael Cote reflects on the impact safety concerns could have in the U.S.:
"With people already nervous about the impacts on property values, a lingering folk story about 'the turbine the blew up papa's barn' certainly doesn't help the industry."
Thanks to Michael Cote