A potentially rather expensive fly in the ointment
Hundreds of offshore wind turbines could be suffering from a design flaw that makes them sink into the sea.
Energy company engineers are urgently investigating the extent to which their offshore wind farms are affected, after flaws were discovered on a Dutch wind farm last autumn.
The problem could cost £50 million, said Renewables UK, the industry body that represents wind farm developers. It says that almost all of the 336 offshore turbines that have been erected could be affected as these were built to European standards now in question.
The problem arises in the concrete used to fix the turbine to its steel foundation. Shell found that some of the turbines at Egmond aan Zee, its Dutch wind farm, had moved a few centimetres.
I'm not quite sure what's happening to the concrete, unless it's getting squashed under loading.
Another issue that could keep the lawyers occupied, I suppose, is the responsibility of the "standards" setters if the standards are later found to be wrong? Or are they for guidance only??