Vattenfall commits to landfill ban

Vattenfall has pledged to stop waste from its wind turbine blades at end of their life, committing to re-use, recycle or recover 100 per cent of decommissioned 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 per cent recycling by 2025 and 100 per cent 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 of Business Area Wind.

The decommissioning of turbine blades has been described as wind power’s “dirty secret” and a significant barrier to it being a fully clean energy, but recent research on material recycling of composite waste and promotion from companies, including Vattenfall, to use recycled composite material in new products could change this. Furthermore, Vattenfall has expressed a desire for 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.

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