Turbine repair could add 20k jobs in new industry

Wind turbines will require repair or replacement

A new industry repairing and re-using broken wind turbines could create 20,000 jobs and boost the circular economy, it has been claimed.

A group comprising Scotland-headquartered SSE Renewables, the University of Strathclyde, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and Renewable Parts, has formed the Coalition for Wind Industry Circularity (CWIC).

The coalition says that apart from generating jobs, it would prevent more than 800,000 tonnes of parts from being scrapped.

Analysis, which was commissioned by the coalition and undertaken by BVG Associates, found around 120,000 wind turbines (584 GW of capacity) are forecast to be operational across the UK, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden by 2035.

According to this new analysis, a UK supply chain capable of refurbishing just ten out of the thousands of parts which make up a single wind turbine could access a European-wide market worth almost £10bn to UK GDP between 2025 and 2035.

Building the capabilities in the UK to service more wind turbine parts as well as more export markets would increase this potential economic impact significantly.

Nick Sharpe, director of communications and strategy at Scottish Renewables, said: “As we approach 2030, a significant number of our wind farms will reach the end of their 20 to 25 year lifespans.

“We know that 80% of a modern wind turbine is recyclable so there are clear opportunities for wind farm operators to harness a circular economy by increasing the reuse of component parts from decommissioned projects.

“The formation of the Coalition for Wind Industry Circularity sends a clear signal that the wind industry is committed to delivering a renewable energy circular economy for Scotland, and we look forward to working with more of our members as they join the coalition and this initiative gathers pace.”

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