End-of-Life phase and three circularity concepts for Wind Turbine Blades

19 December 2022 - Published by Charlotte Lundsberg Baumgartner

In order to bring the “End-of-Life phase and three circularity concepts for wind turbine blades” into a larger context, this document presents the general overview about wind turbines, the materials used in them and how the industry has evolved over the years. This, to provide an overall understanding about (some of) the complexity related to this topic. It is crucial to understand that the evolution of the materials, waste volumes, geographical location of the wind farm, wind farm permit conditions, definitions used in policy papers and many other variables have a direct impact on the feasible End-of-Life options for WTBs.

The report provides three circular concepts for decommissioned blades: cement-kiln route, pyrolysis, and repurposing, which all have their special pros and cons.The common factor between these is their focus on EoL solutions. This is important in the context of finding solutions for the currently operating (onshore and offshore) wind farms, from which thousands of tons of WTB waste are expected. Before the blades end up in any of these three EoL solutions, several other decisions related to economics, technical feasibility, legislation and environmental impacts needs to made by the wind farm owners, which make the role of EoL solution providers highly uncertain regarding business development. Without regulative push, the EoL solution providers often have to compete with the low landfilling and incineration prices. When the volume of feedstock material (WTBs) is uncertain and processes never get optimized, the service price stays high, hindering the progress toward more circular solutions.

Find the full report HERE


Watch the video on the DecomTools Pyrolysis Pilot HERE



Nina Vielen-Kallio, Project Manager, ECHT regie in transitie B.V.