Renewable energy and disaster preparation

  • © mona plougmann

    As the proportion of renewables in the energy mix increases, questions begin to formulate about preparation levels in the event of disaster.

  • Some recent examples include a wind turbine catching fire in gale force winds. Another involves improper installation of an export cable linking an offshore wind farm to the mainland.
  • These events raise concerns about preparedness for disaster – natural or manmade – and what contingencies or regulations are in place to mitigate against these concerns.

In the short term critical review of current regulation and procedure may be necessary to ensure the Government is not playing ‘catch-up’ to industrial progress.

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About Hayley Shaw

Knowledge Exchange Manager at Cranfield University's Centre for Environmental Risks and Futures (CERF). Sharing the latest news from Cranfield, and insights from across the industry. All things risk, environment, and the future.
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2 Responses to Renewable energy and disaster preparation

  1. Dr M C Smith says:

    Given the impending energy shortfall – we are posed to shut down generating capacity without replacement (for example look at Walfa), I think a few wind turbines catching fire is the least of our problems. Traditionally, the UK and other countries have always looked to provide an energy reserve (for example pump storage schemes) to cope with outages or surges. However, such reserves are out of keeping with the current energy market approaches – redundant capacity doesn’t make money and is inefficient. I also believe there is a general lack of integration on this, and attempts to link schemes together.

    • Hayley Shaw says:

      Thanks Mark, and I think on the whole we’d tend to agree. What you don’t get to see on this website is our “risk scores” that sit alongside the insights in our quarterly newsletter. From memory I think we scored this as overall, a low risk issue in the national context. However, these events could have a large impact on a local scale and therefore warrant some preparedness to protect local environments – a sort of “worth bearing in mind” issue.

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