RenewableUK is responding to research into fire protection conducted by academics from Imperial College London, entitled “Overview of Problems and Solutions in Fire Protection Engineering of Wind Turbines”.
The report aims to look into incidences of fire within wind turbines, highlighting that the main cause is lightning strikes. The authors conclude: “There is very little scientific information available publically from which to evaluate the problem critically”. The authors have therefore chosen to draw their conclusions from data reported in newspapers and on anti-wind websites.
RenewableUK’s Director of Health and Safety Chris Streatfeild commented: “The wind industry welcomes any research that will help improve safety standards. However, the industry would challenge a number of the assumptions made in the report, including the questionable reliability of the data sources and a failure to understand the safety and integrity standards for fire safety that are standard practice in any large wind turbine.
There is also a lack of context in the research relating to the actual level of fire risks present to workers and members of the public. Wind turbines are designed to international standards to meet mandatory health and safety standards including fire safety risks. State of the art monitoring systems ensure that the vast majority of turbine fires can be dealt with quickly and effectively. This is supported by an HSE-commissioned report in 2013, which concluded that the safety risks associated with wind turbines are well below all other comparable societal risks.
The industry remains committed to promoting a safe environment for its workers and the public, and no member of the public has ever been injured by a wind turbine in the UK.”
RenewableUK is the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, specialising in onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy. Formed in 1978, we have an established, large corporate membership ranging from small independent companies, to large international corporations and manufacturers. Acting as a central point of information and a united, representative voice for our membership, we conduct research; find solutions; organise events, facilitate business development, and promote wind and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public. Our vision is for renewable energy to play a leading role in powering the UK.
For more information on: RenewableUK