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Summary:

Right on the heels of The New York Times’ gushing piece on the Texas wind bonanza, a video started circulating on the Internet showing a far more dramatic portrait of wind power. The clip, which has already racked up hundreds of thousands of views, shows a […]

Right on the heels of The New York Times’ gushing piece on the Texas wind bonanza, a video started circulating on the Internet showing a far more dramatic portrait of wind power. The clip, which has already racked up hundreds of thousands of views, shows a wind turbine spinning out of control to the point of explosion.

While the quixotic video was fodder for YouTubers, it has not been so for the turbine manufacturer, Vestas Wind Systems. The self-destructing turbine was in Hornslet, Denmark, and apparently is the second Vestas turbine to go kaput there recently. Now the Danish climate minister, Connie Hedegaard, is investigating, according to The Copenhagen Post.

“We’ve still got about 35,000 wind turbines across the globe that are operating fine,” Peter Wenzel Kruse, Vestas’ spokesperson, told the Post. But there is some cause for concern — two Vestas turbines in the UK collapsed late last year, which prompted the company to issue a press release announcing a joint investigation into the matter with the UK Health and Safety Executive. So that’s two separate federal inquiries in two months in two countries? Something rotten?

Vestas is one of the largest and oldest players in the wind business, with 14,500 employees and 29 years of experience. Vestas’ web site boasts: “We install an average of one wind turbine every five hours, twenty-four hours a day.” With 4,232 MW of turbines in the U.S., the company says its turbines make up about a quarter of the total installed capacity. So these four recent failures represent only .01 percent of Vestas’s installed turbines.

Reliability rates of wind turbines have already been the subject of several research papers. And the Industrial Wind Action Group, which “was formed to counteract the misleading information promulgated by the wind energy industry,” has archived 35 instances of wind turbine failures over the last two years.

As bigger turbines are installed across the globe, and more of them, we’re certainly going to see bigger — and more — wind-powered failures. Startups are busy working on designs with less moving parts and a higher degree of safety, but some degree of faulty turbines are inevitable. And no amount of research and statistics is nearly as spectacular as 40 seconds of destructive YouTube-fodder.

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  1. Something you wouldn’t want to happen at Glyndebourne « Heliophage Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    [...] but I’m sure those who disagree with David Attenborough will be on to it. According to Earth2Tech it’s a Vestas windmill in Denmark, in a gale, with faulty brakes. The government is [...]

  2. Wind Industry to Study Exploding Turbines « Earth2Tech Friday, March 21, 2008

    [...] Rubens No Comments Posted March 21st, 2008 at 9:14 am in Energy Following last month’s spectacular wind turbine self-destruction, which prompted the Danish climate minister to launch an investigation, 10 wind energy companies [...]

  3. trade2save » Blog Archive » Runaway wind turbine explodes – with awesome power! Friday, March 21, 2008

    [...] clean, renewable… well not quite as safe a you thought. Following last month’s spectacular wind turbine self-destruction, which prompted the Danish climate minister to launch an investigation, 10 wind energy companies [...]

  4. Green energy is definitely the best solution in most cases. Technology like solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, zaps electric vehicles, EV hybrids, etc have come so far recently. Green energy even costs way less than oil and gas in many cases.

  5. That is not a Vestas Turbine . . . Somebody needs to get there facts strait

  6. Make Green Work — The Story of the Exploding Wind Turbine Thursday, May 22, 2008

    [...] The Story of the Exploding Wind Turbine – (earth2tech.com) “While the quixotic video was fodder for YouTubers, it has not been so for the turbine manufacturer, Vestas Wind Systems. The self-destructing turbine was in Hornslet, Denmark, and apparently is the second Vestas turbine to go kaput there recently. Now the Danish climate minister, Connie Hedegaard, is investigating, according to The Copenhagen Post.“ [...]

  7. Bobby Clemmons Monday, July 21, 2008

    Well, I guess the same massive failure in a nuclear plant, hydro dam, or even a coal fired generating plant would have been significantly more disastorius. Appears the wind was just a little more that the device could handle, just build it stronger and start building them.

  8. You can clearly see that at 16 seconds that the blade hit the supporting tower. Had this unit been functioning properly the blades would have been pushed AWAY from the tower therefore the head was locked in position creating this issue.
    I blame it on SABOTAGE.
    It was either the OIL COMPANIES or the JEWS!
    You decide.

  9. Holy Breaking Wind Turbines! « Earth2Tech Friday, October 24, 2008

    [...] this year, the dramatic self-destruction of a Vestas wind turbine caught on video prompted the Danish climate minister to launch an investigation into turbine [...]

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