March 2024

Latest News

  • SusWIND QRM: 26-27 March 2024, held in-person at National Composites Centre, Bristol.
  • Excellent two days with the programme and steering board members, alongside representatives from the end-of-life blade supply chain, to focus on kick starting the UK industry for mechanical recycling of turbine blade waste, by addressing critical policy, supply chain communication and market demand barriers.
  • Continuum collaboration: Kyle Pender travelled to Eppingen (DE) 6-7 March to witness and collect data on Continuum pilot process for mechanical recycling of blades. Further work starting with Continuum to evaluate process and products in more depth.
  • Gen2Plank successfully produced scaffolding planks using recycled materials: 3 planks reinforced with shredded wind blade material and 5 planks reinforced with wind blade glass fibres reclaimed via pyrolysis.

Extending SusWIND’s Reach 

Supply chain development 

  • NCC to validate mechanical recycling processes and produce LCA and TEA via visits and process observations at: 
    • Continuum (pilot line in Dieffenbacher) 8th March 2024
      • Review to follow) 
    • Gen2Plank in March 2024
    • Plaswire (N. Ireland) in April 2024

Creating a market pull 

  • Lots of interest from construction & infrastructure with large volume potential.
  • Discussions with potential solution providers.
    • Defining the product with Gen2Plank and Plaswire. 
    • Shredded blade samples shared with
      • Composite Designers (composite facades)
      • Sicut (composite sleepers).
    • Initial discussion with LocBlock (composite block work for construction).

Influencing policy 

Scottish Renewables  

  • Discussion on the Onshore Sector Deal with Morag Watson (Director of Policy).
  • Further discussion scheduled to explore opportunities for SusWIND to advise on the determination of the blade processing facility in Scotland.


  • NCC to advise NMIS on running a successful JIP. 
  • NMIS and NCC positioning to ensure programmes are complementary. 

Carbon Trust 

  • Contributed to consultation process on Phase 1.
  • Opportunity to collaborate on SUSJIP Phase 2 (Q4 2024) to expand reach and capability of the decarbonisation tool (potential to expand to include circularity).

Renewable UK  

  • RUK due to release a positioning paper on decommissioning and repowering in Q2 2024. 
  • NCC providing insight from the SusWIND work.

Environment Agency & Natural Resources Wales 

  • As discussed at the QRM, improved Waste legislation is one of the keys to unlocking an EoL supply chain for blades.  
  • Contacts being sought within EA and SEPA.
  • Initial discussion with and providing advice to Natural Resources Wales to support its work on EoL boat recycling.

Programme Highlights

  • EoL blade supply chain demonstration.
    • ReBlade given green light by Vestas to repurpose section(s) of V117 blade from Stronelairg Wind Farm.
      • NCC pursuing blended approach of repurposing and recycling that best represents the most likely (and most sustainable) approaches to blade EoL.
    • Data collection visits at Continuum (March), and Gen2Plank (March), Plaswire (April).
    • Cement co-processing of blades. 
      • Discussions with the cement supply chain providing data and insight to form conclusions on the applicability of blades as an alternative fuel source for cement kilns (Deliverable due April 2024).
  • Alternative materials and sustainability.
    • H-glass incorporated into blade analyses by OREC. Awaiting results on blade mass and environmental impact. 
    • Glass fibre re-melt lifecycle assessments completed and under internal review. To be finalised end-March 2024. 
    • Cradle-to-grave lifecycle assessment of onshore blades underway. 
  • Manufacturing waste. 
    • Potential solution for manufacturing waste from NCC and Vestas IoW demonstrated via production of panels made of recycled consumable materials. 

Figure 1 - Manufacturing consumable waste has to be collected, sorted and processed to produce panels that show the potential for this waste to become a resource. 

  • Low TRL glass fibre composite recycling.
    • Gen2Plank UK performed a trial production of the scaffolding plank using glass fibres reclaimed from a wind turbine blade.

Figure 2 -  The Recycled Scaffolding Plank from Gen2Plank - shown on the right.

    • Menzolit (supplier of moulding compounds) ready to receive 30kg of reclaimed glass fibre to run BMC production trials 
    • Initial discussions with Total Energies and bp on pathways to valorise the polymer fractions reclaimed from composites recycling processes (pyrolysis, solvolysis) indicate that there will be significant challenges.  
  • Circular Design 
    • Framework for circular design of blades developed and reporting underway 
    • Blade concepts generated in advance of design workshops with Vestas and ACT Blade engineers. 

Notable Industry News & Events 

  • JEC Innovation Awards 2024.
    • CETEC (aka Blade Circularity Solution) awarded Renewable Energies prize.
    • Emphasizing (Innovate UK funded consortium including BM Longworth, Gen2Plank) awarded Circularity and Recycling prize.
  • Giles & Pierre - Episode 23 - Net-Zero Industry Act: What does it mean for wind?
    • EU legislation that should increase manufacturing footprint in the EU and brings in non-price factors in auctions.  
  • Carbon Trust SUSJIP Phase 1.
    • Consultation period ended for carbon footprinting methodology; results to be published Q2 2024.

Events Calendar 

  • JEC World, 5-7 March, Paris.
    • NCC team attended. Jonathan will share any wind-related highlights. 
  • WindEurope Annual Event, 20-22 March, Bilbao, ES.
    • Peter Giddings and Phil Slack attended from NCC, representing the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (RenewableUK stand).
    • Wind Energy Initiative launched by WindEurope and EcoVadis. Peter Giddings attended on our behalf and there is definite opportunity for SusWIND to contribute.
  • European Wind Blade Recycling Summit 2024, 12-13 JuneACI , Copenhagen, DK.
    • James Lightfoot (SSER) on discussion panel.
  • 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Wind Turbine Blades, 18-20 November, DTU Riso, DK.
    • NCC invited to present. More details to follow. 
  • WindEurope EoLIS, Date and location TBC.

If you have any questions or need information, don't hesitate to get in touch with Tom Andrews and Jonathan Fuller. Feel free to reach out to us via email at [email protected] 

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