Vattenfall commits to landfill ban and to recycling turbines


Vattenfall has set targets to deal with wind turbine blades at end of life with a focus on increasing the recycling rate of wind blade components. The company has set several targets for how to deal with wind turbine blades at end of life.

The company made the immediate decision to introduce a landfill ban on decommissioned wind turbine blades from owned wind farms and committing to re-use, recycle or recover 100 percent of decommissioned blades. It set a target of a 50 percent recycling rate of wind turbine blades by 2025  with a target of 100 percent recycling rate of wind turbine blades by 2030.  

“It is no longer acceptable for composite waste from the wind industry to be placed in landfills, even though specific country legislation allows for this. Achieving 50 percent recycling by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030 is a big challenge. Solutions to tackle this challenge do not exist in large scale today, so significant efforts are needed to reach this long-term goal. Therefore we will engage in and provide blades to research initiatives that will foster further technology innovation and testing of more advanced recycling technologies”,
commented Eva Philipp, Head of Environment and Sustainability Busines Area Wind. 

To achieve the target, Vattenfall, among others, supports research on material recycling of composite waste and promotes the use of recycled composite material in new products. Furthermore, there will be a long-term approach focusing on all aspects of circular economy, such as supporting the recyclability of wind blades by design, and thereby increasing the value of the recycled material at end of life.

“To reach 100 percent recycling is a joint effort and all stakeholders need to collaborate. In this Vattenfall wants to significantly contribute. As the wind industry continues to grow to provide fossil-free energy across the globe, Vattenfall is committed to promoting a circular economy which reduces environmental impacts throughout the product lifecycle”,
commented Helene Biström, Head of Business Area Wind .

To be able to achieve a complete recycling of wind turbine blades depends on factors like technical development, support of policies and governmental incentives. And in order to push the business towards a sustainable end of life solution for wind turbine blades, Vattenfall stated that it will continue to increase its engagements in cross industry discussions on national and EU levels.