Ørsted is committed to recycling wind turbine blades


On Ørsted Capital Markets Day, the company announced its new commitment to reuse, recycle or salvage all wind turbine blades from Ørsted’s global portfolio of onshore and offshore wind farms upon decommissioning. This commitment is part of Ørsted’s new corporate strategy, which includes the ambition to extend its leadership position in sustainable development and as part of the work to achieve a neutral carbon footprint of here 2040.

“We want to help create a world powered entirely by green energy, and we want to do so in a sustainable way. This includes moving to more circular models where we reuse resources and save energy, thereby reducing carbon emissions. challenge, but we look forward to working on this challenge with our supply chain, ”said Mads Nipper, CEO of Ørsted.

Today, between 85% and 95% of a wind turbine can be recycled, but recycling wind turbine blades remains a challenge, as the blades are designed to be light, yet durable, making them difficult to break. As a result, most of the decommissioned blades are now buried. If the challenge of recycling the blades takes longer than expected, Ørsted will not use landfill for the decommissioned wind turbine blades, but instead will temporarily store the blades.

Over the next decade, wind turbines will be deployed at an unprecedented rate, providing clean renewable energy to industries and several hundred million people, making the decommissioning of blades in a sustainable manner even more important.

Ørsted has so far built 7.5 GW of offshore wind and 1.7 GW of onshore wind. Until now, Ørsted had only decommissioned the Vindeby offshore wind farm in Denmark where the blades of the 11 wind turbines were all reused. With Ørsted’s new strategic ambition to install 30 GW of offshore wind and 17.5 GW of onshore power generation, including onshore wind, by 2030, Ørsted has a clear responsibility to help find solutions to the challenge of recycling blades.

“Already today, electricity produced from offshore wind has 99% lower life cycle emissions than coal. Our ambition is to offer our customers carbon neutral renewable energy solutions with a responsible use of resources, from a life cycle perspective. It requires decarbonizing our supply chain, and it means moving to more circular patterns of resource use in the wind turbine supply chain, ”says Mads Nipper.

“I hope our commitment inspires others, which will help scale up the market for wind turbine blade recycling solutions, thereby accelerating the cost of alternatives to landfill, and helping to boost innovation already underway in wind energy. supply chain on how to design to avoid waste. “

Ørsted is already helping to advance technologies for the sustainable recycling of wind turbine blades as a founding partner of the DecomBlades intersectoral consortium made up of companies in the wind industry and research institutes. The consortium seeks to study and develop solutions to recycle the composite material in wind turbine blades. The consortium recently received three years of funding from the Innovation Fund Denmark for its work.

“No one has all the solutions to move towards more circular models. We need collaboration between companies and research institutes to find the answers of which the DecomBlades project is an important example,” says Mads Nipper.

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