Recycling wind turbines

Sep 21, 2007

The development of wind power promises much in terms of providing us with renewable energy for the future and wind turbines could be the most effective way to harness that power. Danish researchers now suggest that in order to assess the overall environmental impact of wind power, however, the finite lifespan of wind turbines and the need to replace and recycle them must be taken into account. Such an assessment will help policy makers and the industry to develop the green credentials of wind power more effectively.

Writing today in the Inderscience publication, International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, the researchers describe a prospective case study for managing environmental aspects of wind turbines. Their suggested plan for assessing the overall impact of installing and operating wind turbines should be adopted by the industry and policy makers, they say.

Wind turbines are one of the most environmentally sound technologies for producing electricity, explain the researchers. However, the removal and recycling phase of wind turbines has been identified as a blind spot in assessing their overall environmental impact. Most studies have ignored this phase and focused entirely on their operation and in some cases the production and installation of wind turbines.

Foresight and innovation analysts Per Dannemand Andersen and Mads Borup working with wind energy expert Thomas Krogh have devised a method for mapping and mitigating the negative environmental impacts of wind turbines which considers the future removal and recycling of offshore wind turbines up to the year 2050. By combining life-cycle assessment and taking into account future developments in this area of renewable energy, the team hopes that the wind power industry will be able to minimize any potential negative impact of their use.

"Because the wind-turbine industry is relatively young, there is only a limited amount of practical experience on the removal and recycling of wind turbines," Dannemand Andersen says, "It is likely to take more than 20 years before a substantial amount of practical experience regarding the dismantling, separation, recycling, disposal, etc., of wind-power systems is gained."

The present study has developed an interactive and process-oriented method for investigating the environmental impact of wind turbines removal and recycling. The team hopes that the industry will adopt their approach and so find ways to reduce any negative impacts of wind power.

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Explore further: Water crisis threatens thirsty Sao Paulo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Water crisis threatens thirsty Sao Paulo

1 hour ago

Sao Paulo is thirsty. A severe drought is hitting Brazil's largest city and thriving economic capital with no end in sight, threatening the municipal water supply to millions of people.

Canada to push Arctic claim in Europe

1 hour ago

Canada's top diplomat will discuss the Arctic with his Scandinavian counterparts in Denmark and Norway next week, it was announced Thursday, a trip that will raise suspicions in Russia.

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

1 hour ago

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

NKorea launch pad expansion 'nearing completion'

2 hours ago

A U.S. research institute says construction to upgrade North Korea's main rocket launch pad should be completed by fall, allowing Pyongyang (pyuhng-yahng) to conduct a launch by year's end if it decides to do so.

Recommended for you

New paper calls for more carbon capture and storage research

3 hours ago

Federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must involve increased investment in research and development of carbon capture and storage technologies, according to a new paper published by the University of Wyoming's ...

Coal gas boom in China holds climate change risks

8 hours ago

Deep in the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, twin smoke stacks rise more than 200 feet into the sky, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. Both day and night, the rumble ...

User comments : 0