The wind energy industry has admitted that 1,500 accidents and other incidents have taken place on wind farms over the past five years
The figures – released by RenewableUK, the industry’s trade body – include four deaths and a further 300 injuries to workers.
The scale of incidents – equivalent to almost one a day – emerges following the publication of dramatic photographs showing one turbine which had crashed to the ground in a field near a road and another exploding into flames, caused by 150mph winds which buffeted Scotland and northern England last week.
Charles Anglin, RenewableUK’s director of communications, stressed that last week’s incidents were caused by “freak weather”. The organisation said that no member of the public had ever been hurt as a result of a wind turbine accident.
A dossier of incidents, compiled by a campaign group opposed to wind farms, includes cases where blades, each weighing as much as 14 tonnes, have sheared off and crashed to the ground.
Residents living near a wind farm have reported sheltering in their homes when lumps of ice were thrown from blades from a 410-ft high turbine near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.