Onshore wind: policy statement 2022

Sets out our ambition to deploy 20GW of onshore wind by 2030, as well as details on the formation of an onshore wind strategic leadership group, who will develop an onshore wind sector deal.

Annex 2: Best Practice Examples: Circular Economy

Circular Economy Principles – Reblade

ReBlade is the first specialist wind turbine blade decommissioning service in the UK, and the Scottish start-up's vision is to provide a fully circular blade decommissioning solution so that windfarm owner operators can avoid the need for landfill. ReBlade has launched in advance of widespread windfarm site decommissioning, in order to pioneer industry-leading best practice in the management of blade waste, publicly and visibly demonstrating sustainable solutions.

In their first year of trading ReBlade has already diverted nearly 100 tonnes of blade waste from landfill and has successfully remanufactured commercial-scale blades into useful second-life products, such as podiums, and furniture. An innovation project to develop the world's first safety certification scheme for wind turbine derived public realm infrastructure is underway, and ReBlade has plans to deliver a fibre reclamation plant in Scotland capable of sustainably processing blade waste that is not suitable for remanufacturing.

A recent example of the circular economy approach ReBlade are leading can be seen in their collaboration with Fred. Olsen Renewables to investigate the repurposing solutions from Windy Standard Wind Farm in South-West Scotland. The repowering of Windy Standard Wind Farm will see the removal of 36 turbines, with only 8 turbines being constructed in their place.

Picture shows Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson delivering a speech at a remanufactured blade podium.

Picture shows Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson delivering a speech at a remanufactured blade podium.

The decommissioning of the original 36 turbines will release various materials back into the supply chain, including more than 100 turbine blades. The partnership will focus on delivering sustainable uses for decommissioned materials within the region such as play parks, bus shelters and bike racks, as well as creating local jobs and supporting a circular economy.

Picture shows examples of furniture (table and bench) remanufactured by ReBlade from Fred. Olsen Renewables Windy Standard Wind Farm

Table and bench made from recycled wind turbine blades.

Circular Economy Principles – Renewable Parts

Scottish company Renewable Parts is a supply chain, refurbishment, and remanufacture specialist in the wind energy industry, founded in 2011 with a particular focus on green technology innovation and continuous improvement within the circular economy industry. It's Innovation Centre, located in Lochgilphead, applies the latest techniques to restore unserviceable parts to 'as new' condition, and helps its customers to reduce their carbon footprint. This pioneering work has resulted in multiple solutions across technologies including Vestas, Siemens-Gamesa, Senvion, Nordex and GE Technologies.

Renewable Parts boast many services including inventory management solutions, aimed at improving the availability of parts, reducing lead-times and carbon emissions as well as increasing turbine availability and diverting waste and scrap away from landfill.

Picture of renewable part.

They are currently working with multiple organisations and academia including Zero Waste Scotland, the University of Strathclyde, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to research and develop new products and processes.

In 2020, Renewable Parts were awarded the Carbon Reduction Award at Scottish Renewable's Green Energy Awards. However, their accomplishments don't stop there, as they have also:

  • Moved over 130,000 items through their supply chain
  • Diverted over 125 tonnes of waste since 2019
  • Supplied new and recirculated parts to over 2600 turbines annually
  • Reduced over 365tco2eq of carbon emissions through component recirculation
  • Supported a total of 15 local jobs and 6 graduates/apprenticeships


Email: OnshoreWindPolicy@gov.scot

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