In an effort to make wind turbines more sustainable, two companies are collaborating to create wind turbine blades made from non-renewable materials. Stora Enso, a biomaterials and wood construction company, and Voodin Blade Technology GmbH, a startup in Germany, have partnered to create the first wood blade made out of laminated veneer lumber (LVL).
“The wind industry as a key driver towards carbon neutrality needs to become 100% sustainable and environmentally friendly,” Joachim Knapp, mechanical engineer and automation expert with Voodin Blades. “With the installation of the 20 m blade, we are opening a path towards a more sustainable future. In time we will start to develop and manufacture blades for future multi-megawatt turbines.”
The wooden turbine blades will replace other wind turbine blades made from non-renewable materials, such as fiberglass and carbon fiber, which are both forms of plastic sourced from fossil fuels, EcoWatch reported. Many of the non-renewable wind turbine blades end up in landfills when they reach the end of their lifespan, which are difficult to recycle. With a lifespan of 25 years, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, wind turbine blades send to the landfill globally “could reach 43 million metric tons by 2050 as more nations increase their reliance on renewable energy sources.”
“With the current energy crisis and ambitious decarbonization goals, wind energy has never been more in demand,” Lars Völkel, executive vice president of the Wood Products Division for Stora Enso, said. “Through this partnership with Voodin Blades we further accelerate our ability to develop a sustainable and competitive supply chain for the growing market of wind turbine blades.”