By Steven Lindsay
I’ve just finished an afternoon of meetings about turbine blade waste – all very productive, and the discussions very welcome, but I suddenly realised something really important.
Blade waste is being described by almost everyone as a problem. But it isn’t.
I’ve done this myself, but as of today I’m going to stop using the word ‘problem’ and there’s a very simple reason why. When we change the narrative, we change the outcome.
Every time our industry - or government, or public agencies – call decommissioned blades a problem we are handing a stick to those who want to talk down green energy. And all that will do is lead to more and more articles like the one in the Daily Mail yesterday.
Decommissioned blades are not a problem. They are an opportunity to demonstrate that our industry is responsible.
Managing blade waste is a need – of course it is – but all industries develop ways of dealing with their own waste.
Handling blade waste in a circular manner provides an opportunity to create highly skilled green jobs.
Remanufacturing useful items from blade waste is an opportunity to create purposeful community infrastructure.
Making sections of blade waste available to colleges and universities is an opportunity to train technicians or inform materials research and innovation.
Turbine blade waste is already being managed along circular principles. We are already solving the ‘problem’ with ReBlade in the UK, Wings for Living is doing the same in Germany, P.W.Amnet is doing great work in Poland.
Let’s stop talking about the problem of blade waste and start talking about the opportunities arising from managing blade waste in a circular manner.
We are having some really exciting conversations with owner operators across the UK about decommissioning blades and what’s interesting is that none of them describe blade waste as a problem. And that’s because it isn’t a problem.