Siemens Gamesa has launched its RecyclableBlade for onshore wind power projects. The program was brought to market in only 10 months: launched in September 2021 and installed at RWE’s Kaskasi project in Germany in July 2022. The corresponding onshore solution is now ready for customers to employ at their onshore wind sites. Further development by Siemens Gamesa and partners ensure full compatibility with the product and process requirements for onshore blades.
“Launching our RecyclableBlade for onshore sites is another outstanding achievement from our dedicated professionals,” states Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Gamesa. “The concept was always foreseen to encompass solutions for offshore and onshore, and we’re pleased to now provide them commercially to our customers in both market segments.”
“We are driving the wind industry towards full circularity with our commitment to make wind power as sustainable as it can be at every stage of its lifetime,” says Tim Dawidowsky, Siemens Gamesa’s COO and chief sustainability officer. Together with our customers and our suppliers, we want wind power solutions from Siemens Gamesa to continue to help countries around the world meet their net zero carbon emission goals.”
Blade recyclability is a tricky issue for the wind industry. The complex production process for blades, involving composite materials including resin, glass and carbon fibers, made disposal at the end of the wind turbine’s lifecycle challenging. While around 85% of a wind turbine can be fully recycled, regretfully many blades were sent to landfill upon decommissioning.
In addition to developing the world’s first fully recyclable blade, Siemens Gamesa is working with industry body WindEurope and other major industry players in calling for a Europe-wide ban on landfill for blades.
The RecyclableBlade recovery process uses a mild acidic solution to separate the materials at the end of the wind turbine’s lifetime. Those materials can then be recycled for use in other industrial applications like construction, consumer goods, or the automotive industry.