Break like the wind

Spiegel: Wuthering Heights: The Dangers of Wind Power

… After the industry's recent boom years, wind power providers and experts are now concerned. The facilities may not be as reliable and durable as producers claim. Indeed, with thousands of mishaps, breakdowns and accidents having been reported in recent years, the difficulties seem to be mounting. Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation. Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. "At least they won't explode".....that's a shame, it was always the best bit in Thunderbirds!

  2. But if they did work they would gradually slow the earth's rotationan so cause devistating climate change.


    Where do you think all that energy comes from? Rotational angular momentum of the earth is a large part of what causes wind. A vast supply of energy certainly, but still finite.

  3. Yes, I once spent an hour or so arguing a very similar point with some chap who thought of himself as a bit of a greenie scientist... I tried to explain to him that wind turbines remove energy from the wind (duh!), which means that you can't simply (as he believed) have hundreds of them one behind the other, all using the same wind.

    You can't step into the same river twice, and you can't 'harness' the same wind twice.

    Actually, I'm sure wind turbines' effect on the earth's angular momentum must be totally negligible - but that still doesn't make them effective.

  4. I think the item I read said that if however many terawatts of power currently consumed by western nations was mostly supplied by wind turbines then over decades it would have a measurable effect. Can't claim to remember the details however.

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