The Dodgeville Chronicle | Dodgeville, WI
Latest Dodgeville, Wisconsin, weather
Advanced Search

home : opinions : your views
March 21, 2023

2/3/2023 1:10:00 PM
Some wind turbine history

Dear Editor,
The first generation of wind farms was built in Europe, mostly in Denmark, Germany, and Spain.
Take Denmark for example. It has one of the oldest wind turbine fleets in the world. Their first onshore turbine was installed in 1977 and the first offshore turbine in 1999. Their wind industry makes up 47% of the country's annual electricity production. The average age of the 3442 decommissioned turbines is 17.9 years with a range of just 24 hours to 40.07 years (data as of January 2022).
The University of Stratclyde (Scotland) estimates that globally by 2050, there will be 2 million tonnes of wind turbine waste needing safe disposal.
Because of their composition (60% glass fibers and 40% plastic polymers), blades cannot easily be cut or separated, so are routinely land-filled or incinerated.
Wind turbine blades are a HUGE waste issue.
Is the U.S.* looking into that OR will they rely on the innovations arrived at through research and development by other countries?
Jakob W. Nielsen, founder and CEO of Miljøskærm, has developed a special manufacturing process to transform blades into a porous material which has become the main component in noise (a 30 decibel reduction) barriers on roadways.
Denmark has used blade pieces for bike shelters. (9 out of 10 Danes own a bike.)
In Ireland, blades were used to build a (5 metre span) bridge on a greenway. A greenway is a predominately traffic free path for pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized "users" (such as wheelchairs, strollers, etc.)
In the United Kingdom, blades are being used instead of steel to reinforce concrete walls in the construction of the new HS2 high speed rail line. (Trains will be able to travel up to 250 miles per hour.)
Best news yet -- the world's FIRST fully recyclable blades will be available in 2024 (developed by Siemens Gamesa). According to Jakob Mænnchen, blades manufacturing specialist, "We have introduced this new epoxy material allowing us to actually dissolve the blades at the end-of-life." It only takes a simple acidic solution at an elevated temperature for a few hours to separate the materials. No longer meeting the same strength requirement (as for turbine blades), the end-product can be used for: surfboards, furniture, and any kind of laminate.
*The United States is ranked #2 of countries that produce the most wind energy
(#1 China, #3 Germany, #4 India, and #5 Spain).
Primary source of information: FRANCE 24, an international news channel which broadcasts 24/7 (6 hours a day in Spanish) to 355 million households around the world in French, Arabic, English, and Spanish.
Eileen Z. Fitzsimons
Dodgeville, WI

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Software © 1998-2023 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved