A “decommissioning wave” of old wind turbines, whose 20 years of guaranteed support payments are up could become an environmental problem, Niklas Zaboji writes for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
“There are hints of building law violation, authorities looking the other way and insufficient decommissioning regulation,” Zaboji says. Unregulated turbine deconstruction could lead to gear oil seeping into the soil or fibreglass flakes contaminating the environment.
The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) says existing laws governing recycling and soil protection cover wind turbines. But it is calling for regulations requiring operators to keep funds available for decommissioning to be harmonised across the country.
In a separate article in Die Welt, Daniel Wetzel reports that Germany’s Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) wants a standing testing procedure to ensure all turbines operating beyond their 20-year support period remain safe, citing “severe dangers and numerous accidents” with turbines.
In a separate press release, the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) writes that technical experts inspect German wind turbines every two to four years during their operating lifecycle to ensure safety and the correct maintenance. “The safety of the facilities is of great importance to the industry,” writes BWE.