Solar energy, wind energy, hydropower. The era of renewables is here to stay. They are capable of producing electricity with practically no emission of greenhouse gases, they help reduce electricity tariffs, the fuel that feeds them is free, local economies improve, they make use of local resources ... Undoubtedly, there are many economic, social and environmental benefits provided by renewable energy sources. But, like everything, you have to do it thinking about the environment.
Wind power is one of the key energies to address the climate emergency. However, it is no longer enough just to have a low-emission or zero-emission regime. You also have to think about what happens to these technological solutions when their useful life comes to an end.
According to Wind Europa, the energy sector plans to dismantle some 14,000 wind turbines by 2023. In Spain alone, some 25,000 tonnes of waste would be accumulated that same year, according to the Wind Business Association (AEE). It is estimated that by 2050 the wind industry could generate around 43 million tonnes of waste globally.
Currently, in our country, discarded wind blades are rebuilt in the second-hand market to be sold subsequently to other countries. But, given that replacement volumes are now low, recyclable technological solutions are being proposed to help us reduce this amount of waste.
From Endesa, in collaboration with PreZero Spain, we are already working to start up the first wind blade recycling plant in the Iberian Peninsula. With the assistance of GE Renewable Energy and its subsidiary LM Wind Power, this is a major step towards a circular economy model in the wind sector.