Wind Power is More Dangerous than Coal or Oil
David Kreutzer /
The recent explosions in Massey’s Upper Big Branch coal mine and on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig highlight the tragedy of workplace fatalities. Though improvement in statistical averages do little to lessen the loss of those whose loved ones have died, the American workplace has gotten safer which means fewer will be grieving. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reached a record low in 2008: 3.6 per 100,000 full-time workers. Yet with the recent noted losses in the oil and coal industries, some might think that workplace fatalities could be reduced even more by moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. The facts suggest the opposite.
The largest source of new renewable energy is wind power, which accounts for 62 percent of renewable electricity generation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t publish accident data specifically for the wind-power industry, but the Caithness Windfarms Information Forum(CWIF) has created a list of fatalities for the wind industry worldwide. The list is compiled from news reports and is unlikely to be comprehensive. (more…)