Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

The Sustainability of Wind Energy Systems: The Composite Blades Loophole

Buy Article:

$29.95 + tax (Refund Policy)

A key component of a wind turbine's life cycle, the decommissioning phase, is only recently being addressed by research and policy on wind energy projects' sustainability. Although end-of-life composite blades constitute minimal waste as compared to annual industrial composite waste, to date no universally accepted solution or standard commercial procedure has been found for the problem of wind blade disposal. This paper examines the US wind blade supply chain as it regards the end-of-life management of composite waste. Based on 40, in depth, semi-structured interviews with North American and European wind energy experts, this paper provides an overview of wind blade manufacturing plants, composite suppliers to the wind energy sector, and blade-design academic research and testing in the US. Regarding the recycling of composite materials this paper offers original data on what legislation and current practice tells us about end-of-life blades. Data shows that all but a few blade manufacturers and/or OEMs have been involved in research or experimental projects regarding composite wind blade recycling over the last 13–14 years. All the projects since 2000–2001 are of European origin. Interview data also shows that important steps have recently been taken in the US as a market is being established for composite recycling across the country and as the composite recycling infrastructure is continually being improved.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2016

This article was made available online on 14 November 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "The Sustainability of Wind Energy Systems: The Composite Blades Loophole".

More about this publication?
  • Welcome to the home page of the Journal of Sustainable Energy Engineering (JSEE), committed to publishing peer-reviewed original research seeking sustainable methods of worldwide energy production through engineering, scientific, and technological advances.
  • Editorial Board
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more