German wind turbines are mysteriously collapsing, catching fire, but authorities refuse technical monitoring and mandatory inspections.
North German NDR public television here reports how days ago 50 fire fighters were called to the scene of a wind turbine fire. All they could do was extinguish the debris once it had fell to the ground.
The reason for the fire occurring last Thursday in the community of Holtriem in the district of Wittmund is unknown. But it is the second occurrence at this wind park over the past month. The fire is reported to have broken out in the tubine’s generator are, some 60 meters above the ground, and making it impossible for fire fighters to reach.
NDR reports that this is “already the third turbine fire in Lower Saxony in 2018.
Whether the fire was caused by a design defect or inadequate maintenance remains unknown, and answers are not expected any time soon.
The German Technical Inspection Association TÜV has been calling for beef up wind park monitoring and mandatory inspections of wind turbines However the NDR reports, “The German federal government and the German Wind Industry Association (BWE) reject the request.” Many turbines are now more than 15 years old.
Some turbines are simply rupturing
Fires have not been the only problems wind turbines in the Lower Saxony region have been seeing, the NDR reports, but also catastrophic mechanical failure involving towers and blades suddenly snapping.
In early January, 2017, in Neu Wulmstorf near Hamburg, a 16-year old wind turbine suddenly collapsed”, NDR reported here. Turbines are typically designed to last 20 years.
NDR wrote that the wind turbine fires and collapses were not isolated incidents and reported that “collapsing wind turbines, burning rotors and snapping rotor” had occurred in “four accidents” in Germany over the previous weeks.