Caithness Windfarm Information Forum
Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to November 1st 2006.
These accident statistics are copyright Caithness Windfarm Information Forum 2006. The data may be used or referred to by groups or individuals, provided that the source (Caithness Windfarm Information Forum) is acknowledged and our URL www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk quoted at the same time. Caithness Windfarm Information Forum is not responsible for the accuracy of Third Party material or references.
The attached table includes all documented cases of wind turbine accidents which could be found and confirmed through press reports or official information releases up to November 1st 2006. The wind industry is extremely reluctant to make such data available, and because of this, data has been extremely difficult to obtain. Several Consultants from the UK and US wind industry have confirmed difficulty in obtaining such data, and CWIF believe that this compendium of accident information may be the most comprehensive put together to date.
Data in the detailed table attached is by no means comprehensive – it has little data from Denmark and Holland – two of the biggest wind turbine operators in the world. CWIF believe that what is attached may only be the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of numbers of accidents and their frequency. However, the data gives an excellent cross-section of the types of accidents which can and do occur, and their consequences.
It is noticeable that since about 1999/2000 data has been easier to find – presumably since the wide distribution of media via the internet. Numbers of accidents in the data reflect this, with an average of 31.6 accidents found per year from 1999 to 2005 inclusive, and only an average of 5.1 accidents found per year in the previous nine years (1990-1998 inclusive). With few exceptions, before about 1997, only data on fatal accidents has been found. Hopefully, future legislation will require operators to report all fatal and near miss accidents on an annual basis, as with other industries.
Data attached is presented chronologically.
Editor's Note: The summary tables available in the pdf file below (Accident supporov 1st 2006) are too wide for effective display here. These tables summarize accidents as follows: total (301), fatal (37), blade failure (98), fire (44), structural (37), ice throw (21), transport-non fatal (11) and environmental (13).