Climate Action

Wind energy giant Siemens Gamesa launches world’s first recyclable wind turbine

Siemens Gamesa introduces pioneering technology with world’s first recyclable wind turbine blades in a sustainable breakthrough for the wind industry

  • 13 September 2021
  • Adam Master

Leading supplier of offshore and onshore wind energy services Siemens Gamesa launches  RecyclableBlade, the world’s first wind turbine blade that can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle. Siemens Gamesa’s first six blades with this pioneering technology have already been produced at their factory in Aalborg, Denmark and are ready for installation.

Typically, 85% of a wind turbines already have established recycling practices, including the tower and nacelle components. However, the turbine blades have proved inherently difficult to recycle whereby separating the resin from other materials is a real challenge. Until now, turbine blades have mostly ended up at landfills, but RecyclableBlade seeks to break that mould.

Based on proven and reliable IntegralBlade technology, manufacturing of the new RecyclableBlade follows the exact same process with only a change of resin. The chemical structure of this new type of resin makes it possible to efficiently separate it from other components following decommission of the turbine, and the materials can be recycled for new applications.

Siemens Gamesa trusts that such materials may be useful in the automotive industry, or in consumer goods like flight cases and flat-screen casings. No matter the use, it is a major step forward in advancing the green revolution.

The Spanish-German engineering giant has already secured agreements with three major clients, as RWE Renewables, EDF Renewables and WPD Offshore are set to be the first to receive the turbine blades for use in their own offshore wind projects.

RWE will likely receive the very first RecyclableBlade’s at the Kaskasi offshore wind power plant in Germany, where they are hopeful to be producing energy from 2022. RWE CEO Sven Utermöhlen says “we are pleased that our offshore wind farm Kaskasi is able to provide a fantastic facility for testing innovations…this is a significant step in advancing the sustainability of wind turbines to the next level”.

EDF and WPD also have intentions to install several sets of RecyclableBlade at future offshore wind projects with Siemens Gamesa overseeing development and installation. Achim Berge Olsen, CEO of WPD declared “for the last 20 years, WPD actively contributed to the sustainable development of the offshore wind industry. Through this cooperation in the recycling technology program of Siemens Gamesa, we’re making another step forward for the industry”.

For Siemens Gamesa, RecyclableBlade is ‘only the beginning’, and the first major step towards achieving 100% recyclability of turbines.