Denmark-based wind blade manufacturer LM Wind Power, part of GE Renewable Energy, unveiled a target to produce zero waste blades by 2030, supporting a move towards circular wind turbines.
By the end of the decade, the company plans to stop sending the excess manufacturing materials and packaging to landfill and incineration without energy recovery. Instead, the materials left over from the production of blades will be reused, repurposed, recycled or recovered.
LM Wind Power, which is already carbon natural, said that waste disposal accounts for nearly one-third of its operational carbon footprint. Generally, in wind turbine blade manufacturing, some 20-25% of the materials purchased are not used in the final product, and blade manufacturing waste is projected to exceed decommissioned blade volumes during the coming decade, the firm added.
LM Wind Power chief executive Olivier Fontan said “the focus has evolved from making wind power not only competitive, but also making the industry sustainable.”
Key to doing that is the supply chain.
“This is a call to action for suppliers to the wind industry: join us in designing out waste from our value chain,” said LM Wind Power vice president, engineering and technology Hanif Mashal. “Engagement with our supply chain on waste prevention will increase over the coming years; in partnerships we will also explore how we can ultimately deliver waste back to suppliers, for recycling into new materials that will be supplied to the wind industry or other sectors,” Mashal added.