End-of-life Options for Composite Material Wind Turbine Blades: Recover, Repurpose or Reuse?

End-of-life Options for Composite Material Wind Turbine Blades Recover, Repurpose or Reuse?

Abstract

The technical and commercial success of wind energy has resulted in c. 600 GW of capacity being deployed around the world. Wind turbines have a typical operational lifetime of 20-25 years, therefore a large number of wind turbines will be decommissioned in the coming decades. This will lead to a large volume of composite material waste from end-of-life blades. In this paper, repurposing is proposed as an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable end-of-life option for composite material wind turbine blades. Repurposing is preferable to materials recovery, waste-to-energy or landfilling within the circular economy paradigm, and may offer additional social benefits over these other options. A methodology is proposed to assess the environmental, social and economic sustainability of repurposing solutions for end-of-life wind turbine blades.

Citation:

Leahy, P.G., 2019, β€œEnd-of-life Options for Composite Material Wind Turbine Blades: Recover, Repurpose or Reuse?” 14th SWEDES Conference, Dubrovnik, CROATIA, Oct 1-6, 2019