Wind power is one of the cornerstones in the quest to tackle the climate emergency. With more than 200 GW of new offshore capacity projected by the Global Wind Energy Council to be installed by 2030, it is critical to quickly introduce recyclable solutions. Siemens Gamesa is leading the way for a sustainable future with its recyclable wind turbine blade for offshore commercial use. Called the RecyclableBlade, it is the world’s first recyclable wind turbine blade ready for commercial use offshore. With this technology, separation of the materials in the blade is possible at the end of its lifecycle, enabling recycling into new applications and defining the next milestone in sustainability.
The first six 81-meter long RecyclableBlades have been produced at the Siemens Gamesa blade factory in Aalborg, Denmark. According to Siemens Gamesa, climate emergency must be tackled in a holistic manner. In pioneering wind circularity – where elements contribute to a circular economy of the wind industry – Siemens Gamesa has reached a major milestone in a society that puts care for the environment at its heart.
Many components of a wind turbine, such as the tower and nacelle components have established recycling practices. Until now, the composite materials used in wind turbine blades have been more challenging to recycle. Built on proven, reliable processes, the Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlade breaks this mould and is the first of its kind, enabling recycling at the end of its lifecycle, and sets the path to a future where the full recyclability of projects will be a market requirement.
Siemens Gamesa is committed with RWE Renewables to install and monitor the world's first wind turbines with recyclable blades in Germany at the Kaskasi offshore wind power plant. Current plans are for the project to be producing energy from 2022 onwards. This is a significant step in advancing the sustainability of wind turbines to the next level. Siemens Gamesa is working with EDF Renewables with the aim to deploy several sets of RecyclableBlades at a future offshore wind farm.
Siemens Gamesa is also working with wpd to install sets of the RecyclableBlade at one of their future offshore wind power plants.
Siemens Gamesa’s wind turbine blades are made from a combination of materials cast together with resin to form a strong and flexible lightweight structure. The chemical structure of this new resin type makes it possible to efficiently separate the resin from the other components at the end of the blade’s working life. This mild process protects the properties of the materials in the blade, in contrast to other existing ways of recycling conventional wind turbine blades. The materials can then be reused in new applications after separation. Siemens Gamesa’s offshore customers will now have the unique possibility to choose the RecyclableBlade as an option for their future projects.
Fully Recyclable Wind Turbine by 2040
Siemens Gamesa recently launched an ambitious Sustainability Vision towards 2040, pushing the boundaries of sustainability to create a better future for generations to come. Under this umbrella, the company announced an ambitious goal to make turbines fully recyclable by 2040.
The objective is to produce wind turbines that can generate renewable electricity for 20-30 years. When the wind turbines reach the end of their useful life, the materials can be separated and used for new and relevant applications.