SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Siemens Gamesa is studying thermal and chemical treatments to recover raw materials and help it meet its target of making its blades fully recyclable by 2030, according to its head of quality, health, safety and environment. Making these processes available at an industrial scale and at an acceptable cost will be key to making blade recycling commercially viable, Gregorio Acero said.
The turbine manufacturer last week pledged to make its blades fully recyclable by 2030 and its turbines fully recyclable by 2040 – the second being in line with rival OEM Vestas’ target. Acero said that achieving these targets will depend on customers being willing — at least initially — to pay extra for turbines to be recycled, creating the volume needed to make material recovery economically viable.
“If we make the technological solution available, we will need ten years or so to make it at volume and economically feasible,” he said. “The technological solution will be ready well before then, but we have to do prototyping and industrialising and convince customers.”
Policymakers also need to make sure that technologies that are available can be selected, as long as they are economically feasible, Acero added. They should seek to make green solutions more attractive than carbon-intensive ones. But customers also need to make a conscious decision to pay more for turbines with an added pledge for recycling as part of the package, he said.