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From the editor


On the web... Find recent editions, white papers and market analysis at www.worldwind-technology.com


World Wind Technology Issue 1 2021


Editorial Editor Nicholas Kenny


nicholas.kenny@progressivemediainternational.com Sub-editors Barney Horner, Nikki Peach Group art director Henrik Williams Designer Martin Faulkner Production manager Dave Stanford Head of content Jake Sharp


Commercial Client services executive Ruchita Marwaha Sales manager Roy Morris roy.morris@progressivemediainternational.com Managing director William Crocker


World Wind Technology is published by Progressive Media International.


John Carpenter House, John Carpenter Street, London, EC4Y 0AN, UK Tel: +44 207 936 6400 Fax: +44 207 724 9800 www.nsenergybusiness.com www.worldwind-technology.com


ISSN 2044-771X © 2021


Registered in England No 06212740. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher and copyright owner. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions. The products and services advertised are those of individual authors, and are not necessarily endorsed by or connected with the publisher. The opinions expressed in the articles within this publication are those of individual authors and not necessarily those of the publisher.


SUBSCRIPTIONS Single issue price UK £38 EU €59 US $78 RoW $78 One year (2 issues) UK £58 EU €92 US $119 RoW $120 Two year (4 issues) UK £93 EU €144 US $190 RoW $191


Tel: +44 845 073 9607 (local rate) Fax: +44 207 458 4032 Email: cs@ns-mediagroup.com Progressive Media International, Riverbridge House, Ground Floor, South Tower, Anchor Boulevard. Crossways, Kent DA2 6SL


Printed by Stephens & George Print Group Images used under licence from Shutterstock.com.


t’s an ill wind that blows no good, and while the shadow of the global Covid-19 pandemic hung heavy over 2020, it was also a record-breaking year for the wind energy industry. Some 114GW of new wind capacity was added globally, according to Wood Mackenzie, shattering previous annual records for turbine installation. And while 2021 will not see numbers that are quite so high – as various incentives came to an end in 2020, causing a final rush to finish projects ahead of the cut-off point – wind power is still moving in the right direction.


A turning point I


Nor has the industry allowed itself to become complacent in its success. On 16 June, Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, and Juan Virgilio Márquez, general director of the Spanish Wind Energy Association, aimed to address one of the main issues facing the industry, upon the European Commission to propose a Europe-wide ban on sending decommissioned wind turbine blades to landfill by 2025.


A landfill ban would likely accelerate the development of sustainable recycling technologies for composite materials. At the moment, 85–90% of wind turbine components can currently be recycled, but turbine blades remain a challenge as they contain complex composites – a combination of reinforced fibres (usually glass or carbon) and a polymer matrix. This issue will become increasingly pressing during the next few years because, with a standard lifetime of around 20–25 years in Europe’s most mature markets, the first turbines in the region are reaching the end of their operational life. WindEurope expects around 25,000t of blades in Europe to be decommissioned annually by 2025, which could double to 52,000t by 2030. Something, then, must be done about them. We explore the issues around turbine blade recycling and some of the industry-developed alternatives on page 20. This issue also examines how wind power is being used to fuel electrolysis to create green hydrogen with the aim of replacing natural gas in homes (page 14), and we learn about new improvements in the design of boats used for the construction and maintenance of offshore wind turbines (page 11). One fact remains constant – the industry never slows down in its attempts to improve. Like the wind itself, it can’t be stopped.


Nicholas Kenny, editor


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World Wind Technology / www.worldwind-technology.com 3


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