Letter to the Editor
Recycling of wind turbine blades is becoming a challenge. Due to the need for clean energy supply on a global scale, the wind energy industry is expanding tremendously. The World Wind Energy Association estimates that 900 giga watts of wind power capacity will be installed globally by 2024, which will be sufficient to meet more than 8% of global energy demand.
Wind turbine qualities include being mobile, having low maintenance costs, and producing little waste, which contribute to preventing climate change and advancing the energy transition. They are a clean, infinite, and safe energy source. Keeping in mind that the manufacture and deconstruction phases of renewable energy production account for the majority of their environmental impact.
Herein lies the significance of wind turbine blades recycling.A wind turbines useful life is typically 20 years, but if enough money is spent on maintenance, it can often be extended to 25 years. Although recycling the wind blades effectively presents a challenge, the majority of its components are recyclable. Because they are typically made of composite materials like fibre glass, carbon fibre, or different resins, it is particularly challenging and expensive to separate them for recycling.
Initially, and in line with the circular economy’s guiding principle, the majority of wind turbine blades are not reused exclusively. This is a component of the repowering strategy because as wind turbines become more effective and powerful, the older ones can be disassembled and assembled in new wind farms or in different nations.
Additionally, steps must be taken to transform these blades into architectural or structural components. However, it should be kept in mind that studies indicate that this repowering will result in up to 40,000 wind turbines being demolished annually starting in 2030 across the globe. Given how quickly wind energy is expanding, it is necessary to choose other alternatives as the volume of retired blades is rising quickly.
Vijay Kumar H K (Environmentalist), Raichur, Karnataka