Analyzing a decade of wind turbine accident news with topic modeling

Gürdal Ertek, Lakshmi Kailas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the significance and growth of wind energy as a major source of renewable energy, research on the risks of wind turbines in the form of accidents and failures has attracted limited attention. Research that applies data analytics methodologically in this context is scarce. The research presented here, upon construction of a text corpus of 721 selected wind turbine accident and failure news reports, develops and applies a custom-developed data analytics framework that integrates tabular analysis, visualization, text mining, and machine learning. Topic modeling was applied for the first time to identify and classify recurring themes in wind turbine accident news, and association mining was applied to identify contextual terms associated with death and injury. The tabular and visual analyses relate accidents to location (offshore vs. onshore), wind turbine life cycle phases (transportation, construction, operation, and maintenance), and the incidence of death and injury. As one of the insights, more incidents were found to occur during operation and transportation. Through topic modeling, topics associated most with deaths and injuries were revealed. The results could benefit wind turbine manufacturers, service providers, energy companies, insurance companies, government bodies, non-profit organizations, researchers, and other stakeholders in the wind energy sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12757
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Accident analysis
  • Association mining
  • Data analytics
  • Topic modeling
  • Wind energy
  • Wind turbine accidents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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