Skip to content

More Wind Turbine Problems

December 17, 2013

A new report has established that there have been fires on wind turbines. A fire in the Netherlands killed two workers, which raises the question as to whether wind turbines have adequate fire suppression equipment on board.

The Netherlands fire highlighted the lack of properly sized firefighting equipment available to a local fire department to fight a fire 500 feet above the ground.

The immediate concern should be for wind farm workers who can be trapped 500 feet above the ground. One of the workers killed in the Netherlands fire was found lying on the ground and apparently fell to his death while attempting to escape the fire.

The next concern should be to determine or establish the kind of fire suppression equipment required for wind turbines in the nacelle, and to be certain it is effective.

And should local fire departments be required to have suitable equipment for fighting fires several hundred feet above the ground? This could be a problem for small communities that don’t normally equip their departments with this kind of equipment. Wind turbines in these communities could increase taxes on people living there.

Beyond these immediate issues is whether a fire near a forested area could ignite a forest fire. Is this taken into consideration when siting wind farms?

In addition, 500-foot-tall wind turbines prevent air drops by firefighters, as the height of the wind turbines prevents planes from flying low enough to be effective.

It appears as though wind turbine fires are more common than thought. Communities should investigate the issue before approving wind farms or the addition of new wind turbines.

States such as Maine, Colorado and California, where forests are widespread, should be careful when siting wind turbines.

Wind Turbine Fire. Picture Courtesy of J. Droz

Wind Turbine Fire. Picture Courtesy of J. Droz

 

It’s been a well-known fact that wind turbines kill thousands of birds and bats every year.

Researchers estimated between 600,000 and 900,000 bats were killed by wind turbines in the United States in 2012.

Bats are important to agriculture as they kill pests. They also kill mosquitoes.

Some of the birds killed each year are on the endangered species list. For example, the bald eagle, America’s symbol, is being killed by wind turbines.

Any private citizen who kills a bald eagle, even if by accident, will pay a hefty fine.

But wind energy lobbyists have gotten this administration to exempt wind farms from penalties for the next 30 years if they kill or injure bald eagles.

There are other well-known problems with wind farms, such as noise and their being a blot on the landscape thereby damaging tourism, but fires and the exemption of wind farms from penalties for killing bald eagles are the latest news about wind energy.

On balance, it would appear as though wind energy is the most environmentally unfriendly and ecologically damaging of the five renewable energy alternatives: wind farms, PV solar, concentrating solar, geothermal and hydro.

*  *  *  *  *  *

 

These articles can be delivered directly to your mailbox. Subscribe by clicking below the photo on the right side of the article where it says email subscription, and entering your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you know someone who would be interested in these articles you can send him/her a link to the article and suggest he/she subscribes by clicking on the email subscription link under the picture on the right side of the page, and entering their email address.

To find earlier articles, click on the name of the preceding month below the calendar to display a list of articles published in that month. Continue clicking on the name of the preceding month to display articles published in prior months.

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears, LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About these ads
3 Comments leave one →
  1. captrichzoy@comcast.net permalink
    December 17, 2013 11:10 am

    Donn I would take exception to your statement on the killing of bats and birds based on what my buddy in WNY told me.  They did run this research at the wind farm that I sent you pictures of the blade failures.  They ran it for a couple of years.  When the grant was about to run out they found out that very few birds or bats were killed but all of a sudden the kill rate jumped.  Why?  The goose that lay-ed the golden eye was going to disappear and the grant was not going to be renewed.  So the researchers started to pickup road kill and other kill birds and bats and bring them back and put them around the areas by the windmills.  So don’t be taken in by anything about the windmills killing birds and bats.  Something like fracking causing well water to burn.  I think they took you in on this one. Now on the fires, that is a good point and I am going to send this to him because he is on his local fire company.   Rich

    • December 17, 2013 11:30 am

      Rich:
      Thanks for the input. I’ll check it out.
      My sources are usually very accurate, bit it’s worth verifying their accuracy.

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 250 other followers