Starting in 2021, following 20-30 years of use, some 13,000 wind turbines in Germany will no longer be promoted by the Renewable Energy Law (EEG). Operators can continue to use them or move them at other locations. Some turbines will have reached their maximum life duration and must be dismantled. But according to the German Environment Agency (UBA), procedures for scrapping and recycling the turbines must still be developed. Under the Federal Emissions Protection Law, operators are primarily and technologically responsible for such proceedings. Owing to the great diversity of turbine types and locations, tailor-made procedures will be required. Because different sorts of turbines are made from different materials, various regulations will apply.
Take, for example, the case of drainage. Getting rid of used oils, greases and lubricants is part of the recycling process, and regulations concerning used petroleum and protecting the climate from harmful fluorocarbon gasses have to be followed. Under no circumstances are used industrial liquids to be released into the environment during the recycling procedure. Or when rotor blades are sawed apart, the process has to be contained so as to avoid contamination by splinters, dust or coolants.
In the state of Lower Saxony, which has the greatest number of wind turbines in Germany, authorities have already begun to react to recycling needs. The industrial association RDRWind was formed at the end of 2018. Its mission is to assist companies from Germany and abroad to repower, dismantle, remove and recycle wind turbines. The association also aims to encourage the development of new professional uses and sustainable procedures, standards and norms.
The webinar “Recycling of Wind Turbines in Germany” will cover how all the aspects of the process fit together, which data and facts are relevant and how Germany is pursuing its energy transition to a logical conclusion with its wind-energy policies. The webinar will take place on 5 February 2020. You can find more information and register to take part, here