Following a successful trial at its facility in Ayrshire, Scotland, Enva is rolling out a recycling solution for wind turbine blades.
Decommissioned blades are crushed and shredded, resulting in recyclable materials such as steel. Residual fractions can replace traditional fossil fuels at waste-to-energy facilities. The blades are cut into three 50 metre lengths with the help of specialist equipment prior to being delivered to Enva’s recycling facility.
The company expects 15 000 tonnes of turbines to be decommissioned in Europe this year, with the annual figure growing to roughly 25 000 tonnes by 2025 and topping 50 000 tonnes by 2030. A driver for recycling is said to a landfill ban in Scotland from 2025.
Latest figures from National Grid show that wind energy is now the UK’s second largest source of electricity, supplying 26.8% in 2022. With more 11 000 wind turbines and a total installed capacity of 28 gigawatts, the UK now has the sixth largest capacity in the world.
‘We are committed to bringing at least one new recycling process to market every year and the opening of our wind turbine blade recycling facility is another tangible example of this innovation and investment,’ says Enva’s operations director Michelle Scott.
‘The increased use of alternative energy sources will result in new waste streams which will each require managing in a way that enables us to unlock their circular economy and commercial value. We look forward to continuing to work with the wind sector and other energy companies to help them realise these benefits.’
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