RenewableUK responds to wind turbine fire research – and also commented on tidal lagoon sector

RenewableUK  yesterday responded 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’.

Renewableuk logoThe 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.”

RenewablesUK also commented yesterday on new research on tidal lagoon technology.

The research shows that if six tidal lagoons were constructed around the coasts the sector could supply as much as 8% of the UK’s electricity needs and during peak of construction employ nearly 71,000 people. The paper, authored by Centre for Economics and Business Research, and commissioned by Tidal Lagoon Power, finds that the operations of the lagoon and the electricity they produce will contribute GBP £3.1 billion a year to the UK economy. The report also highlights the potential for lagoons to help protect vulnerable communities from floods.

RenewableUK Wave and Tidal Development Manager Dee Nunn said: Dee Nunn 1

“This report shows the huge potential value of tidal lagoons to the UK. This technology alone could produce as much of 8% of the UK’s electricity needs, and create jobs and growth. However, for the tidal sector to really flourish, there needs to be a clear vision for the role of the technology in our future energy needs, which means looking beyond 2020”.


Photographed is Dee Nunn, RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal Development Manager

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