A circular economy for wind turbine blades
A new report from the Energy Transition Alliance, titled Sustainable Decommissioning - Wind Turbine Blade Recycling, suggests the UK could develop a ‘world-leading’ wind turbine blade re-manufacturing industry.
The report says that the global offshore wind industry will need to decommission 85GW of capacity, including 325,000 blades, by 2050. It identifies 14 technologies that show promise for recovering blade materials, but which require further development before being deployed at scale.
If developed and implemented correctly, the report’s authors say turbine blades could enter the circular economy, create up to 20,000 jobs, and help meet the government’s net zero carbon 2050 goal.
ORE Catapult director of operational performance Chris Hill said that the UK was “on the cusp of a break-through composites recycling solution.”
He added, “The technologies exist, but to be viable, they require intensified investment and some new approaches to studying and addressing the remaining innovation challenges.”