Sweden – Vattenfall has set lofty goals for dealing with wind turbine blades that have reached the end of their useful lives. There has been an immediate commitment to a landfill ban on dismantled wind turbine blades.
Over the next decade, there will be a lot of effort put towards boosting the recycling rate of wind turbine components.
Vattenfall’s objective is to enable fossil-free life within one generation, and a major increase in wind energy is a critical component to achieving this. Vattenfall places a high priority on decreasing environmental impacts and managing all resources properly to ensure this is done in a sustainable manner. As a result, Vattenfall has established certain goals for how to dispose of wind turbine blades that have reached the end of their useful life:
- An immediate decision on landfill ban on decommissioned wind turbine blades from owned wind farms and committing to re-use, recycle or recover 100 percent of decommissioned blades
- A 50 percent recycling rate of wind turbine blades by 2025
- A 100 percent recycling rate of wind turbine blades by 2030
To meet the ambitious aim, Vattenfall, among others, supports research on composite waste material recycling and encourages the use of recycled composite material in new products. Furthermore, a long-term approach will be implemented that will focus on all areas of the circular economy, such as supporting the recyclability of wind blades by design, thereby enhancing the value of the recycled material at the end of life.
The ability to achieve total recycling of wind turbine blades is dependent on factors such as technological advancement, policy backing, and governmental incentives. In order to drive the business toward a sustainable end-of-life solution for wind turbine blades, Vattenfall will continue to enhance its participation in cross-industry conversations at the national and EU levels.