A new technology has been developed by Vestas and other industry and academic leaders which now means that wind turbines could be totally recyclable.  

Previously, wind turbines were only 85-90% recyclable as it was difficult to break down the thermoset composites of the turbine blades.  However, through the Circular Economy for Thermosets Epoxy Composites (CETEC) initiative, a new chemcycling process has been developed which helps break down blade materials into components similar to virgin materials which can be recycled and reintroduced into the manufacturing process of new blades. 

We have recently been examining some of the challenges in decarbonising the supply chain in the offshore wind market (see our article: Offshore Wind – Next Wave Supply Chain Challenges and Evolution).  This significant technological development is another step forward in achieving net-zero across supply chains in the wind sector and reducing the amount of waste produced by the sector by allowing all components of a wind turbine to be fully recyclable.

Furthermore, the roll out of this new technology by CETEC, could be a huge opportunity for the UK jobs market, as new recycling solutions would need to be developed by companies to meet the demand from the wind turbine market. 

For more information on the new technology and the opportunities it presents to the UK market, please see the below two articles:

https://www.offshorewind.biz/2021/05/17/vestas-leads-project-to-make-wind-turbine-blades-fully-recyclable/

https://www.offshorewind.biz/2021/03/31/ore-catapult-offshore-wind-turbine-blade-recycling-could-add-20000-jobs/ 


This article was written by Campbell Hutcheon and Tabitha Gould