Siemens Gamesa announces RecyclableBlade for onshore wind power projects

Source: press release, 22 September 2022

The first six RecyclableBlades have already been produced at Siemens Gamesa’s blade manufacturing plant in Aalborg, Denmark
The first six RecyclableBlades have already been produced at Siemens Gamesa’s blade manufacturing plant in Aalborg, Denmark (photo: SGRE)

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) again takes strong command of circularity within wind turbine blades, launching its RecyclableBlade for onshore wind power projects. This milestone is set to propel the activities that make wind energy even more sustainable, creating a fully circular sector.

The Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlade for offshore 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. 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,” says Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Gamesa.

Both onshore and offshore markets around the world continue to set ambitious targets for installed wind power capacity, with the demands for ensuring recyclable solutions gaining more importance. Turbine sizes, and in turn their blades are growing rapidly, making it even more imperative to find solutions to ensuring their circularity. With the RecyclableBlade for onshore, Siemens Gamesa continues to put action behind its Sustainability Vision towards 2040 where a core target is fully recyclable wind turbines by 2040 at the latest.

“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. 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,” says Tim Dawidowsky, Siemens Gamesa COO and Chief Sustainability Officer.

Prior to the launch of Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlade in 2021, blade recyclability was a tricky issue for the wind industry. The complex production process for blades, involving composite materials including resin, glass and carbon fibres, 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.