Repowering, dismantling and recycling in the wind industry – a joint effort to be handled sustainably
- Managing efficiently the increasing numbers of wind turbines to be dismantled
- Establishing industry standards for dismantling and recycling
- Cooperation of RDRWind e.V. and VGB PowerTech e.V. strengthens synergies in the engineering sector
In the wake of the end of the 20-year feed-in tariff scheme under the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), a growing number of old wind turbine generators are expected to be dismantled in the coming years. In Germany alone, some 16,000 MW of currently about 59,400 MW will likely be dismantled before the year 2025, amounting to 25 % of installed wind energy capacity – an effort that poses organisational, logistical and technical challenges.
A successful and sustainable dismantling process, as a natural stage in a turbine’s lifecycle, not only ensures transparency and increases local approval and support of wind energy but also enhances acceptance of possible repowering projects.
With this aim in mind, the industrial associations RDRWind e.V. and VGB PowerTech e.V. have signed a cooperation agreement at HUSUM Wind 2019. As part of this cooperation essential issues of dismantling management will be jointly discussed and dealt with. The cooperation will include research projects, a coordinated knowledge management, a quality seal for sustainable dismantling and the participation in elaborating industry standards.
Currently, the DIN SPEC 4866 “Nachhaltige Demontage und Recycling von Windenergieanlagen (Sustainable dismantling and recycling of wind turbines)” is on the agenda. RDRWind e.V. initiated this work jointly with the DIN. The DIN SPEC 4866 will now be completed with the technical support of VGB PowerTech e.V. and will be published next year.
(Annette Nüsslein (1. from left), Martin Westbomke & Andrea Aschemeyer (2. & 1. from right), all RDRWind e.V., Thomas Eck, Oliver Then (2. & 3. from left), both VGB PowerTech e.V., Photo: Katharina Wolf)
Martin Westbomke, 1st chairman of RDRWind, comments: “We are delighted to have found in VGB PowerTech an internationally well-connected and expert partner for the important task of dismantling, recycling and extended use of wind turbine sites. Together, we will demonstrate this facet of wind energy sustainability and drive it forward.”
Dr. Oliver Then, managing director of VGB PowerTech, emphasizes: “Joint efforts are the essential precondition to managing many technological tasks efficiently. Together with RDRWind we will set new priorities for further wind energy use and its expansion in order to build up its capacity at a national and international level.”