A few of days ago I reported on a spate of wind turbine collapses occuring in Germany and Europe. Well the folly appears to be continuing as the online German Tageblatt here reports how yet another has come crashing down, with a passerby witnessing it live.
The fourth collapse in four weeks!
German news site NTV here writes:
South of Hamburg an approximately 100-meter tall wind turbine collapsed. The turbine in Neu Wulmstorf fell during the morning, a police spokesman said. A passerby observed the incident and called the fire department.”
The NTV reports it’s still unknown why the bolted connection 20 meters high came apart at around 11 a.m, but was probably due to brisk winds at the time.
The latest incident led the Swiss online daily Baseler Zeitung (BaZ) here to report on the unusual series of wind turbine failures in neighboring Germany, writing that such a string of failures “is not supposed to happen“.
The BAZ adds that normally Germany sees about 6 or 7 such failures over an entire year.
There have been four serious incidents in northern Germany over the past four weeks. ‘Too many in such a short time,’ writes Philipp Stukenbrock of Ingenieurbüro 8.2 Consulting, which specializes in wind parks.”
The four recent collapses in summary:
- Early December, the tower of a 70-meter tall turbine snapped in half and the turbine and blades crashed to the ground in the state of Mecklenburg-Pomerania.
- In the northeast German state of Saxony, the tower of a 100-meter tall turbine snapped some 15 meters above the ground.
- Early this week a 40-meter blade came apart and fell to the ground in Brandenburg.
- As described above, the tower of a 100-meter tall turbine south of Hamburg broke catastrophically 20 meters above the ground.
Collapsing turbines are not the only hazard posed by wind parks. There’s also the danger of falling ice, as the WN.de here reports.
On the morning of New Year’s Eve, Werner van Veenendaal was out for a walk near Bochum in the Ruhr region, when a roughly 2-foot long ice projectile flew off from the tip of a blade of a nearby 98-meter tall wind turbine and crashed close by, shocking the bejesus out of him. From the photo of the ice chunk, a direct hit certainly could have been lethal.
van Veenendaal told the Westfälische Nachrichten daily that he also found several other chunks of ice of similar size in the area: “The street was also littered with smaller pieces.” And because it was foggy he was not able to see the tops of the turbines and thus “could not see that there was ice on them“.
Luckily he wasn’t hit, or worse!