Risk Premium: Insurers Baulk At Paying Out For Hundreds of Wind Turbine Fires & Collapses


The staggering rise in the number of turbine fires and total turbine collapses has insurers ready to tighten the terms of the policies offered to cover them.

As with any bookie, the odds of winning (or losing) are always reflected in the price the punter pays. Insurance, is no different.

International insurance broking took off in earnest with the likes of Lloyd’s of London, which, from Edward Lloyd’s coffeehouse in Tower Street came to dominate Marine insurance across the globe. These days, you name it, they’ll insure it (for a price, of course).

The model is simple enough: define an adverse event; promise to pay out when it occurs; charge a price for the promise; and hope like hell that the event never occurs.

No doubt assured by wind turbine manufacturers, and the characters that operate them, that these things are safe as houses and will outlast religion, insurers took their bets and charged premiums, accordingly.

The reality on the ground (so to speak) has turned out to be a little different, as Eric Worrall reports.

Bloomberg: Wind Turbine Collapses Could Raise Insurance Premiums
Watts Up With That?
Eric Worrall
25 January 2023

If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.

Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over
Bloomberg Law
Ryan Beene and Josh Saul
23 January 2023

On a calm, sunny day last June, Mike Willey was feeding his cattle when he got a call from the local sheriff’s dispatcher. A motorist had reported that one of the huge turbines at a nearby wind farm had collapsed in dramatic fashion. Willey, chief of the volunteer fire department in Ames, 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, set out to survey the scene.

The instances are part of a rash of recent wind turbine malfunctions across the US and Europe, ranging from failures of key components to full collapses. Some industry veterans say they’re happening more often, even if the events are occurring at only a small fraction of installed machines. The problems have added hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for the three largest Western turbine makers, GE, Vestas Wind Systems and Siemens Energy’s Siemens Gamesa unit; and they could result in more expensive insurance policies—a potential setback for the push to abandon fossil fuels and fight climate change.

The race to add production lines for ever-bigger turbines is cited as a major culprit by people in the industry. “We’re seeing these failures happening in a shorter time frame on the newer turbines, and that’s quite concerning,” says Fraser McLachlan, chief executive officer of London-based GCube Underwriting Ltd., which insures about $3.5 billion in wind assets in 38 countries. If the failure rate keeps climbing, he says, insurance premiums could increase or new coverage limits could be imposed. …
Bloomberg Law

The following is a video of some impressive turbine fails;

What can I say?

Clearly the hundreds of carbon intensive tons of concrete and steel and petroleum plastic used to build each wind turbine are not enough.

What we need for truly safe wind turbines is even more coal smelted steel and concrete, even more plastic and factory produced fibreglass or carbon fibre, to reinforce the structures and ensure turbines are strong enough to provide clean energy. /sarc
Watts Up With That?