How to build a circular economy for wind turbine blades through policy and partnerships

Download the position paper.

The wind industry is committed to achieve the full recyclability of our turbines in line with the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan and the ambitions of the EU Green Deal.

So the wind industry is calling for a Europe-wide landfill ban on decommissioned wind turbine blades by 2025. This means the industry commits to re-use, recycle or recover 100% of decommissioned blades. This landfill ban would accelerate the development of sustainable recycling technologies for composite materials.

The position paper further highlights four pillars of action to achieve full recyclability:

  • Increasing funding on research and development (R&D) for evaluating and scaling-up diversified blade recycling technologies (with a focus on industrial upscaling and commerciailsation);
  • Incentivising the use of recycled composite materials in new products;
  • Increasing funding on R&D for the development and use of new (recyclable) blade materials; and
  • Establishing a European cross-sectorial platform (including all composite waste producing sectors) and sharing good practice.

The wind industry will develop an industry roadmap further detailing the steps required to accelerate wind turbine blade circularity. This roadmap will focus on four workstreams:

  • implementing the landfill ban,
  • achieving full recyclability of existing blades in the future,
  • making future blades fully circular and
  • engaging with other sectors.

It will require commitment from policy makers, other composite users and recovery and recycling players to make these commitments a reality.

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