OSLO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Vattenfall aims to
recycle all of its used wind turbine blades by 2030, the Swedish
utility said on Tuesday, and will immediately stop disposing of
them in landfill sites.
The decision applies to the wind farms that it owns and
commits Vattenfall to re-use, recycle or recover 100% of
decommissioned blades in a bid to reduce the environmental
impact of the wind industry.
"The transition towards a circular economy is key in
tackling climate challenges and achieving the company target of
becoming net zero by 2040," a spokesperson said.
Wind turbine blades are generally non-recyclable and end up
in huge landfill sites that have started to draw the attention
of environmentalists. https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/surging-wind-industry-faces-its-own-green-dilemma-landfills-2021-09-10
"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," Eva Philipp,head of
Environment and Sustainability at Vattenfall's wind unit, said
in a statement to Reuters.
Vattenfall, which operates around 3.3 gigawatts of on- and
offshore wind power capacity in Europe, is targeting a recycling
rate of 50% of the wind turbine blade by 2025, rising to 100%
by 2030 - a big challenge, it said, as recycling solutions do
not currently exist on a large scale.
Until the recycling industry has developed, Vattenfall will
rely mostly on a "co-processing" method where the blades are
shredded to create a material that can be used to produce
cement, the spokesperson said.
The company will decommission its Irene Vorrink wind farm in
the Netherlands next year, consisting of 28 turbines, or 84
blades, but few wind farms in its portfolio will follow until
"When we get closer to 2030 the amount will increase as well
as the mass of material to be recycled since newer turbines are
bigger and have longer blades," it added.
Earlier this year, Denmark's Orsted committed to
re-use, recycle or recover all of its wind turbine blades upon
decommissioning. Turbine-makers Siemens Gamesa and
Vestas have also announced new recycling and production
technologies to address waste management.
(Reporting by Nora Buli; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)