Cable failures add to Wind Industry’s woes

By Romegas

In previous articles, I have written at length about the multitude of problems besetting the Wind Industry. These ranged from substantial rising costs of minerals and other resources needed for production to serial operational turbine failures amid a host of other issues.

If those were not enough for this deeply troubled industry, we now learn that problems with underwater cable failures have become so common that the cost of insuring them is becoming prohibitive.

GLOBAL Underwater Hub (GUH) chief executive, Neil Gordon, said: “It’s estimated that around 85% of the total value of offshore wind insurance claims relate to subsea cables. Insurers are losing money underwriting cables with the average settlement claim in the region of £9million. Brokers have warned that the high number of cable claims is affecting capacity and coverage and the cost of repairs typically runs into millions, with warranties rarely covering the high cost of business interruption.

If these critical components become uninsurable, offshore wind projects around the world will be derailed, making global 2050 net zero targets completely unachievable.”

According to one developer, the cost of insuring a 1.2GW offshore windfarm over its lifetime is in the region of £350 million and insurance brokers estimate that the costs of floating offshore wind will be 30% higher than fixed bottom ones.

Mr Gordon explained: “With the shift from fixed to floating offshore wind, where the dynamic nature of floating cables is even more challenging, the critical issue of their reliability must be addressed as a matter of urgency. 

It is worth reminding the reader that the crippling problems facing wind turbine producers and wind farm operators have not dampened our own politicians’ plans to throw away hundreds of millions of euros into investing in what is clearly a failing industry with at best a bleak future – most likely because they aren’t even aware of the issues in the first place.  After all one needs to know where to look to get uncompromised information rather than uncritically fall for what is more often than not outright propaganda and wishful thinking.

As it is, we can barely repair and get by when electricity cables on land fail  – if our government’s deluded wishes come to pass, one wonders what we will hope to do when underwater cables inevitably fail too with what seems to be unenviable regularity.

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