Actually, the wind turbine recycling issue is a bit of a red herring. After all, the fossil energy industry has squeezed who knows how many trillions of tons of raw resources out of the ground, to be used once and never to be replaced, reclaimed, recycled, or reused again, let alone upcycled, unless you count their contribution to global carbon load as a kind of recycling, which is a bit of a stretch.
Nevertheless, the global wind industry is coming of age in an era when public policy and consumer demand are beginning to steer the global economy into a more sustainable, circular form. That pushes wind turbine blade recycling into priority status.
The typical wind turbine blade lasts about 20 years, which means that a flood of spent blades is about to hit the global market. In partnership with the firm Arkema, Inc., the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has also been hammering away at a new resin-based turbine blade material that can be reduced to a liquid and reformed into new blades and other items, while reducing labor and energy inputs.
See New Recycling & Energy Storage Plan Claps Back At Wind Turbine Critics
A new wind turbine blade recycling strategy deploys gravity-based energy storage technology for maximum circular economy impact.