Bloomberg: Wind Turbine Collapses Could Raise Insurance Premiums

h/t jeffy; If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.

Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over

Jan. 23, 2023, 7:00 PM

On a calm, sunny day last June, Mike Willey was feeding his cattle when he got a call from the local sheriff’s dispatcher. A motorist had reported that one of the huge turbines at a nearby wind farm had collapsed in dramatic fashion. Willey, chief of the volunteer fire department in Ames, 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, set out to survey the scene.

The instances are part of a rash of recent wind turbine malfunctions across the US and Europe, ranging from failures of key components to full collapses. Some industry veterans say they’re happening more often, even if the events are occurring at only a small fraction of installed machines. The problems have added hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for the three largest Western turbine makers, GE, Vestas Wind Systems and Siemens Energy’s Siemens Gamesa unit; and they could result in more expensive insurance policies—a potential setback for the push to abandon fossil fuels and fight climate change.

The race to add production lines for ever-bigger turbines is cited as a major culprit by people in the industry. “We’re seeing these failures happening in a shorter time frame on the newer turbines, and that’s quite concerning,” says Fraser McLachlan, chief executive officer of London-based GCube Underwriting Ltd., which insures about $3.5 billion in wind assets in 38 countries. If the failure rate keeps climbing, he says, insurance premiums could increase or new coverage limits could be imposed.

Read more:

The following is a video of some impressive turbine fails;

What can I say?

Clearly the hundreds of carbon intensive tons of concrete and steel and petroleum plastic used to build each wind turbine are not enough.

What we need for truly safe wind turbines is even more coal smelted steel and concrete, even more plastic and factory produced fibreglass or carbon fibre, to reinforce the structures and ensure turbines are strong enough to provide clean energy. /sarc

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January 29, 2023 2:15 am

Wind generators of the current poor design are an energy sink. They would need to operate over 180 years to return the energy invested in them and the system that enables them to add energy to the network. Fatigue cycle on support structure requires the very best design and expensive castings. Welded construction just has limited durability under the load cycles. Offshore turbines have corrosion issues as well. The offshore wind farmers have rising maintenance burdens that will make insurance prohiyedly expensive. The current offshore wind farms are the reefs of the future. That is more beneficial than their imposition on dispatchable generators.

Only a few regions can operate as parasites on the neighbouring regions regions before the Ponzi collapses. South Australia and Germany are both using neighbouring regions to impose their value eroding intermittency

Last edited 1 month ago by RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
January 29, 2023 4:07 am

Great comment, Rick Will..

Based on my expectations that everything leftists claim is exaggerated or just a lie, I never assumed bird and bat shredders would last an average of 15 years, especially those in salt water. Leftists make biased lifespan claims with no data to support them.

I was not assuming windmill fires, windmills collapsing and higher insurance costs. I just believed anyone who wanted windmills connected to electric grids had no engineering sense and could not be trusted. I was only assuming windmills would wear out, especially the huge windmills, or become obsolete because of new more efficient designs, Leftist claims about electric vehicles are similarly biased.

This is the first energy article I read this morning and the first article on my daily recommended reading list:

Honest Climate Science and Energy

Bryan A
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 29, 2023 9:29 am

Unfortunately for both Wind and Solar the weather doesn’t always provide optimal fuel supplies

Reply to  Bryan A
January 29, 2023 1:29 pm

I believe windmills provide little or no power about 60% of the time and rarely reach maximum power output during the other 40%. With higher wind speeds, I believe they’d wear out even faster! The first windmill attached to an electric grid is “overbuilding”.(aka, a waste of money) since it requires 100% natural gas backup, which is never included in the Liar’s Cost of Energy (LCOE) number.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Mark Whitney
Reply to  RickWill
January 29, 2023 6:14 am

This one fell in NY some years ago.

wind turbine fail.jpg
John Hultquist
Reply to  Mark Whitney
January 29, 2023 9:15 am

 This was a vertical “Darrieus wind turbine”
See the Wikipedia entry as to why these are problems.

Here is a report:

There was a post or two at the time, here {2019/12/31} and elsewhere.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Mark Whitney
January 29, 2023 1:51 pm

Oh I thought the pic was a failed windmill on the roof of
a proto-type on-board car unit.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  RickWill
January 29, 2023 7:41 am

‘They would need to operate over 180 years to return the energy invested in them and the system that enables them to add energy to the network.’


Is there support for this claim? The wind shills have studies that claim wind energy payback in less than a year:

Not trying to be difficult here, as I believe wind (and solar) are useless on the bases of economics and intermittency. But we clearly need facts to counter alarmists’ / crony capitalists’ claims, not unsupported statements or silly ‘mathematical proofs’.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
January 29, 2023 2:04 pm

RickWill is talking about the time to pay back the energy used to make them, not the cost. When you’re looking only at cost you need to adjust for both overt subsidies and covert subsidies. Overt subsidies include money paid by government for them to be built. Covert subsidies include money paid by customers (almost always without their knowledge) to subsidize operations. They’re both so very high that I wouldn’t be surprised if the investors got their money back after a year. But not the taxpayers and customers.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Hivemind
January 29, 2023 3:44 pm

The claim is that a wind turbine can’t produce the energy required to fabricate, transport, construct , operate and maintain it over some period of time. Again, I don’t believe renewables get built absent political coercion and subsidies, but to say they’re a net energy sink without having data in hand plays into the hands of their supporters.

Reply to  RickWill
January 29, 2023 1:40 pm

 “They would need to operate over 180 years to return the energy invested in them and the system that enables them to add energy to the network.”

I misread that number.
%$#@% speed reading!
“180 years” does not make sense.’
I thought I had read 180 months, not 180 years!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  RickWill
January 29, 2023 1:45 pm

Rick, I guess they don’t want to be asked about what incendiary failures of $12 million Lithium battery grid storage units would add to the insurance payouts. The first two sent to South Australia self-ignited and burned right up.

Jimmy Walter
January 29, 2023 2:48 am

Insurance premiums “could” be raised? (trying to be funny:) Where you born in a cave? — Yesterday? They will raise premiums on any pretense “As the night follow the day”. They only paid Silverstein because they got to raise everyone else’s premiums when they knew it would never, that it was impossible for it to happen again – all those increased premiums are pure profit.

January 29, 2023 2:50 am

We’ve had wind droughts and little Sun. Gas prices literally went through the roof. So, some of us went back to old methods of heating

“”And yet enforcement and control remains ineffective. Dr James Heydon, of the University of Nottingham, has been researching the way in which the legal controls on home fires have failed to address this problem.””

You can see where this is going. The air in London today is the cleanest its been as anyone who can remember the 50s and 60s can tell you

There’s no wind today…

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Reply to  strativarius
January 29, 2023 3:01 am

What is really, really crazy is that now in the UK they are at the same time paying operators not to generate (constraint payments) and paying consumers not to turn on appliances and use electricity, because there is a shortage of power because not enough wind.

Well, its not really at the very same time, that’s not accurate. Not at the same hour or minute. But in the same month, probably in the same week, and quite possibly sometimes on the same day. This is the cost of intermittency. You go from flood to drought in a matter of hours.

Jimmy Walter
Reply to  michel
January 29, 2023 3:47 am

“Oh what twisted webs we weave when first we practice to deceive”

Reply to  michel
January 29, 2023 3:51 am

They know how to print money…

Reply to  strativarius
January 29, 2023 6:44 am

Mechanical engineers are being displaced by financial engineers.

Reply to  Scissor
January 29, 2023 6:57 am

And creative accounting has found its niche.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  michel
January 29, 2023 6:07 am

I think we actually reached the point where it was at the same time, caused by transmission constraints from the North to feed London and the French interconnectors while the more local wind farms (Rampion, London Array, etc.) were becalmed.

January 29, 2023 3:09 am

Yes the increasing failures are being noticed in Oz-
June last year-
and the latest in January-

Pushing the limits of engineering-
and obviously the wind industry can’t foist that on insurers for very long as it’s a numbers game for them too.

Reply to  observa
January 29, 2023 2:07 pm

Insurers don’t like to pay money out. Pretty soon they’re going to say it happened because of improper design and construction. No money for you fools.

Reply to  observa
January 29, 2023 9:23 pm

The “GE CEO” stating that “Rapid innovation strains manufacturing and the broader supply chain.” is complete nonsense. Manufacturers either have functioning quality systems, or they do not.

I suspect the constant pressure for ever-greater profits from the government-funded Pinwheel Ponzi has brought a lot of 3rd World steel into the supply chain. That can be deadly.

Reply to  roaddog
January 30, 2023 1:07 am

More like the pressures for manufacturers simply to remain afloat-
Particularly feeling the squeeze from coal fired China plus the Commies are prepared to ignore return on capital in order to play the long game.

January 29, 2023 4:06 am

Sheesh. For some of the wind turbine failures in the video, it appears that someone hath lobbed the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch at them.


Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 29, 2023 6:57 am

They’re also mostly over 10 years ago. A deliberate news blackout?

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
January 29, 2023 1:42 pm

Must be windmill sabotage by reckless climate deniers?

January 29, 2023 4:10 am

I bet politicians and activists will very soon blame wind turbine failures on the climate crisis.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Petit-Barde
January 29, 2023 4:49 am

I think you’re right. It’s those weather-weirding winds that the designers had no way to anticipate! \sarc

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  David Dibbell
January 29, 2023 6:03 am

A new weather phenomena
Brits hit with snow and 3,000-mile circle of winds due to ‘frozen donut at top of world’Warnings have been put in place as a ‘frozen donut’ will spark another cold snap across the country as boffins warn of more chills and snow with no sign of the frosty weather stopping soon
UK Daily Star

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 29, 2023 6:41 am

Shouldn’t that be doughnut?

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Reply to  strativarius
January 29, 2023 7:12 am

English vs American spelling

Reply to  MarkW
January 29, 2023 7:59 am

The language I speak is English, the news outlet mentioned is called the UK Daily Star….

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  strativarius
January 29, 2023 1:10 pm

Maybe “doughnutte” then?

Reply to  strativarius
January 29, 2023 9:10 pm

We’re familiar with the problem. Nations divided by a common language.

Reply to  Petit-Barde
January 29, 2023 7:11 am

or Trump

David Dibbell
January 29, 2023 4:39 am

Here is another one, from the Bronx, NYC. A vertical axis turbine failed and luckily did not hurt anyone. VERY foolish to have installed it in the first place.

John Hultquist
Reply to  David Dibbell
January 29, 2023 9:20 am

See my comment above to Mark W.

January 29, 2023 5:07 am

On a calm, sunny day …

Two possibilities:

1 – The windmill collapsed on a calm day. That’s really really bad. Whoever designed and built the windmill should lose their engineering licenses.

2 – The windmill collapsed in a wind storm and its collapse wasn’t noticed ’til later. In that case, the operator should have known about it instantly. You’d think the very expensive windmills would be thoroughly monitored.

Since they are usually far from human habitation, these giant windmills aren’t much of a hazard, but they also aren’t completely safe. house struck Maybe the setback for a giant windmill should be the distance it could toss a chunk of blade. Given that the velocity of the tip of the blade could be around the speed of sound, I’m guessing it could travel a couple of miles (ignoring air resistance).

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  commieBob
January 29, 2023 5:28 am

I’ve seen vids of them throwing ice quite a distance. 😲

It doesnot add up
Reply to  commieBob
January 29, 2023 6:24 am

I think rotor tip speeds are limited to around 200mph.

Leo Smith
Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 29, 2023 7:24 am

Well that what they SHOULD be limited to. But when the brakes fail in a high wind…

Leo Smith
Reply to  commieBob
January 29, 2023 7:22 am

Mosdt efficient working is at tip speeds well below the speed of sound. About 200-300mph usually. A turbine that is out of control however…

…perhaps we should invoke the ‘precautionary principle’ and ban wind turbines altogether/

Elliot W
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 29, 2023 12:20 pm

This! Like they said about banning gas stoves, if they can’t make them safe, they need to be banned!

Reply to  Leo Smith
January 29, 2023 9:15 pm

The progressive standard for regulating things of which they do not approve is, “If it would save just one life…”

Taken to its logical conclusion, that standard leads to the elimination of every human invention ever devised because someone somewhere once passed away in an unfortunate accident involving a paper straw and two sheets of toilet paper.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 29, 2023 6:11 am

The fallen windmill is in danger of becoming a symbol of impotence.

Gunga Din
January 29, 2023 6:35 am

Mr. Layman here.
Why do wind turbines need to be so high with turning vertical blades?
Why not one closer to ground using a horizontal centrifugal fan to catch the wind?
(Of course both would be a waste of resources.)

Reply to  Gunga Din
January 29, 2023 7:01 am

They do exist just not in the large capacity as the windmills we see.

Reply to  Gunga Din
January 29, 2023 7:14 am

Perhaps because wind speeds increase with height?

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 29, 2023 7:15 am

Because wind speeds are higher and more consistent/less turbulent.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 29, 2023 7:29 am

The output of a wind turbine is proportional to the blade swept area and I think the cube of wind velocity. Going higher allows a bigger blade, and gets you clear of ground level ‘boundary effects’, and so nets a higher power per unit ground area. I .e. if you double the height, you have half the number of turbines on a given patch but 2 times the power output. (4 times per wind turbine, half number of turbines).

Last edited 1 month ago by Leo Smith
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 29, 2023 1:47 pm

When the wind speed is too low, as it is 60% of the time, you get little or no electricity no matter how large the windmill is.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 29, 2023 9:23 am

See my comment above, reply to Mark W. , and follow the link to the Wikipedia page of  “Darrieus wind turbine”

Gunga Din
Reply to  John Hultquist
January 29, 2023 10:00 am

I was thinking of a “fan” setup more along the lines of the blower fan in a central air system.
Along the lines of this one.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 29, 2023 9:51 am

Thank you all for taking the time try and answer “a dumb question”.
(I come here to learn and, maybe too often, make wisecracks. Occasionally I think I actually contribute something useful!)

January 29, 2023 6:44 am

One thing is quite clear, these turbine failures are a consequence of climate change, at least as perceived by our politicians.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Denis
January 29, 2023 10:03 am

If our politicians didn’t use “climate change” for gain, we would have any of them anyway.
(Or at least not paid for on taxpayers’ dime.)

Leo Smith
January 29, 2023 7:18 am

I’d rather live next to a nuclear power station.

January 29, 2023 7:34 am

They will just be placed further away from land. Or in the case below, they’ll be floating so they fall to the bottom of the ocean:
Perhaps the egg beater shape will win out:

Reply to  rhs
January 29, 2023 2:25 pm

One advantage, especially to whales and other sea life, is that type of rotation should not produce the extremely powerful pulses of very low frequency sound that is inherently part of the propeller type’s operation. Whale communication, as one example, is at very low frequencies, so the vertical axis turbines might be less destructive.

Dave Andrews
January 29, 2023 7:54 am

The article mentions Siemens Gamesa as one of the three largest western manufacturers. It, like all of the 5 European turbine manufacturers, has been operating at a loss for well over a year. They have been beseeching the European Commission to declare wind power a strategic industry and provide more subsidies (although they don’t put it as baldly as that).

In September 2022 Siemens Gamesa issued a press release entitled ‘Europe’s energy independence impossible unless wind power considered a strategic industry’ (26th Sept)

“The sectors ability to produce profitably is currently threatened by auctions solely driven by price, slow permitting and,ultimately, soaring prices for energy, commodities and transport …….. As a result wind turbine manufacturers are operating at massive losses and cannot invest to satisfy the growing demand for wind energy”

January 29, 2023 8:47 am

Right now, wind in the UK is providing about 50% of demand. I’m sure the thermageddonists will be shouting from the rooftops about it. However, they need to be reminded that last night wind was supplying…..
…. 7%
The thermageddonists never seem to get their head round the fact that this intermittency is the problem.

Last edited 1 month ago by BigCarbonPrint
John Hultquist
January 29, 2023 9:42 am

 Blade length in 2040 – maybe

This makes the tip to tip distance about 260 m.
Wind blows irregularly – meaning there are pressure differences from side to side. Twisting, vibration, and wear are inevitable.

January 29, 2023 11:28 am

OT: I suddenly stopped getting email updates on articles over the weekend. I’ve checked my settings and I’m still set to follow by email. Anyone else have the same issue?

Jeff Alberts
January 29, 2023 1:05 pm

What we need for truly safe wind turbines is” to make them 2″ tall. That way they won’t injure anyone, unless you stepped on one, and they’ll be equally effective as the full-sized version.

Epping Blogger
January 29, 2023 2:04 pm

Slightly OT: would we not expect the operators to provide bonds to finance the removal of these installations after their effective life ends. That would be costly on land and very very costly offshore.

Oil and gas have to do it and nuclear has to as well. Why not windmill owners.

Reply to  Epping Blogger
January 29, 2023 2:28 pm

The good book does not mention such nonsense. Thus the priests will not bless any such requirements.

January 29, 2023 3:09 pm

Wind and solar are not a substitute for fossil fuel and nuclear.

January 29, 2023 3:33 pm

Here is an article from American Thinker which included a photo of a turbine that seems to have pulled it’s platform from the ground. Certainly the ‘engineering’ lacks in a variety of aspects. Funny that NextEra says it is extremely rare for a wind turbine to fall over.

January 29, 2023 11:22 pm

1000 feet from the road so it’s safe?
It’s crystal clear that these people don’t understand how much energy is involved when those monster blades are spinning out of control.

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