European energy company Vattenfall is committing itself to the recycling of wind turbine blades as part of an initiative to decrease the long-term environmental impact as the growth of wind energy accelerates across Europe. One of the emerging issues for the wind industry is the disposal of blades which have a life cycle of maybe 20-years but are made up of complex composite materials.
Vattenfall currently has around 50 onshore and offshore wind farms in operation across five countries, producing about a third of the company’s energy supply. In addition, they are building Denmark and Scandinavia’s largest offshore wind farm as well as Sweden’s largest onshore wind farm. The company expects that wind energy will continue to be a growing part of its operations and more broadly across Europe and the globe.
As part of an effort focusing on reducing environmental impacts and handling all resources responsibly, Vattenfall announced an immediate commitment to a landfill ban on decommissioned wind turbine blades. Further, the company is committing to the re-use, recovery, or recycling of 50 percent of wind turbine blades by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.
“It is no longer acceptable for composite waste from the wind industry to be placed in landfills,?even though specific?country legislation allows for this,” said?Eva Philipp,?Head of Environment and Sustainability Business Area Wind. “Achieving 50 percent recycling by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030 is a big challenge. Solutions to tackle this challenge do not exist in a large scale today, so significant efforts are needed to reach this long-term goal. We will engage in and provide blades to research initiatives that will foster?further?technology?innovation and testing of more advanced recycling technologies.”
SOURCE READ THE FULL ARTICLE