New report on circularity in the wind industry

Decommissioning of a wind turbine

On Friday, April 16, the report “The ideation process focused on circular strategies in the wind industry” was presented. This report describes the current state of circularity in the wind industry and where there are opportunities for the industry to respond to in the coming years.

The report was handed by Sandor Gaastra (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) through Hans Timmers (NWEA), Giles Dickson (WindEurope) to Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy (see the video).

Onshore and offshore wind energy play a crucial role in Europe’s renewable energy ambitions. Supported by European and national policies, the wind energy sector is facing the challenge of finding ways to scale up capacity and to use natural resources consciously. With the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU has made a circular economy an essential building block of the Green Deal.

In view of the great rise of wind energy and the large number of wind turbines that will soon be decommissioned, a rapid transformation to a circular industry is needed in the coming years. Not only to be able to scale up sustainably, but also to profit from the turbines that are released at the end of their lifespan.

Identification of circularity opportunities

The report describes the results of the Moonshot project Circular Wind Farms, commissioned by Versnellingshuis Nederland Circulair! (a collaboration between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, VNO-NCW, MKB-Nederland, MVO Nederland and the Groene Brein) and carried out by ECHT Community as part of the ‘Uitvoeringsprogramma Circulaire Maakindustrie’ (Implementation Program for Circular Manufacturing) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.

The Moonshot project is aimed at finding solutions for the preservation of critical materials from wind farms, whether in the form of components or materials. This project has three phases: Developing circular strategies and action agenda topics, developing concrete action agendas and implementing those agendas. This report examines the findings of phase 1 and makes action suggestions for phase 2.

More than 100 parties from the entire value chain have contributed to identifying action points within circularity. These action points have been translated into 9 circular action agenda themes / projects (recover). The action agenda projects will start in the spring of 2021 and aim – from phase 3 – to accelerate the road to a circular wind industry. View the report on: ECHT Community