Siemens Gamesa claims to have created the world’s first recyclable wind turbine blades. The RecyclableBlade turbine blades are ready to be used offshore. The new blade design allows the parts and materials to disintegrate at the end of their lifespan.
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The turbine blades use several materials combined and cast together with resin. Gregorio Acero, Head of Quality Management & Health, Safety and Environment at Siemens Gamesa, says the company plans for the turbines to “generate renewable electricity for 20-30 years.”
Thanks to the chemical structure of the new resin material used, it is possible to separate the resin from other components when the turbine reaches the end of its lifespan. While the tower and nacelle components of wind turbines have established recycling protocols, Siemens Gamesa’s invention improves the recyclability of the composite materials in turbine blades. Previously, the difficulty of separating these materials led to many turbines going to the landfill once no longer usable.
Siemens Gamesa CEO Andreas Nauen says that thinking about recycling and reusing products is a must if the world wants to successfully address the climate crisis. “The time to tackle climate emergency is now, and we need to do it in a holistic way,” said Nauen. “In pioneering wind circularity – where elements contribute to a circular economy of the wind industry – we have reached a major milestone in a society that puts care for the environment at its heart.”
Siemens Gamesa has partnered with RWE to install the turbines with recyclable blades in a first-of-its-kind project. The turbines will be installed at the Kaskasi offshore wind power plant in Germany. Siemens Gamesa will be monitor and maintain them starting in 2022.
“The RecyclableBlade is another tangible example of how Siemens Gamesa is leading technological development in the wind industry,” said Nauen.