Reuse! – Wind turbine blades in Ireland

Sometimes something really cool crosses the feeds and it’s one of those ‘V-8 should’ve thought of that’ moments. In an article in Grist this am, they highlighted an effort in Ireland to repurpose old turbine blades for construction projects. There is a growing concern about clean energy waste (batteries and solar cells) and this Ireland example is more in the right direction … if you can’t reduce, then reuse … only after those options are exhausted does recycle / waste become the issue.

To emphasize that point, quote: “Taken together, these innovations — if they prove technically sound and economically viable — could help stave off a looming wind turbine blade waste crisis, something that Re-Wind team lead Larry Bank, a research faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology, describes as a “potential black eye” for the wind industry. “If you are talking about a sustainable, renewable fuel source, it’s not appropriate to then pollute the environment with materials that are decommissioned,” Bank said.

This is just cool and a great start …

If only the US could learn something, quote: “Unfortunately, in the U.S. and many other countries lacking blade waste regulations, somewhere often means a landfill, where wind turbine blades take up a huge — and growing — amount of space. According to the Electric Power Research Institute, blade sizes have “increased dramatically” in recent years, from an average diameter of 145 feet in 1997 to 367 feet in 2017. And the tough, fiber-reinforced plastics blades are made of don’t break down easily once they’re in the ground.

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