How Do You Throw Away a Dead Wind Turbine?
With difficulty — seems to be the answer. And as wind turbines get bigger, their massive concrete bases are not re-usable either.
By Duggan Flanakin ~
Contrary to popular opinion, the life cycle of a modern wind turbine is no more than 20 to 25 years. Since turbine blades cannot be burned and are not recyclable, the recommended option is landfill disposal. But not every landfill can even accept these massive structures, even after they are broken into their parts.
According to Pu Liu and Claire Barlow (Waste Management, April 2017), there will be 43 million metric tons of blade waste worldwide by 2050, with China possessing 40% of the waste, Europe 25%, the United States 16%, and the rest of the world 19%. The problem of blade disposal, they conclude, is just beginning to emerge as a significant factor for the future.
A 2017 report from researchers Katerin Ramirez-Tejeda, David A. Turcotte, and Sarah Pike (New Solutions) asserts that “the environmental consequences and health risks are so adverse that…
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