29 Aug '15, 12am

"Is #insurance killing #innovation?" The case of wind energy #technology.

"Is #insurance killing #innovation?" The case of wind energy #technology.

Two Areva 5MW turbines installed at Germany's Alpha Ventus offshore wind project began malfunctioning just months after being commissioned in 2010. The problem was traced to a decision by a supplier to change the coating on the gearbox sliding bearings from zinc to a less-expensive zinc-aluminium alloy that caused temperature spikes in the nacelle. The nacelles on all six Areva turbines at the site ended up being replaced at a cost of EUR25 billion and months of lost energy production. The incident helps illustrate the pitfalls that can arise as the wind energy industry tries to balance the need to find innovative new ways to drive down costs and boost production against the necessity for reliable, well-proven technology. The challenge is compounded by the fact that, as project sizes increase and the financial requirements of the industry grow, owners and developers have h...

Full article: http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1361475/insurance...

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