Offshore wind is a core part of Net-Zero; however, concerns still exist over the eventual decommissioning and disposal of materials. Current epoxy-based wind turbine blades are difficult, if not impossible, to recycle. Therefore, new solutions need to be developed.
Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a globally respected research, development and testing facility for offshore wind approach Decerna, requesting Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) services to understand the environmental impacts of possible alternatives to epoxy blades.
Outline and Objectives
ORE Catapult supplied Decerna with details on four different alternative materials, as well as details on existing turbine materials and designs.
Using these, Decerna created LCA models following the principles of ISO 14040/44 within the software OpenLCA, using the Ecoinvent database. These models included environmental hotspots, sensitivity analysis, pedigree matrix based uncertainty analysis, and suggested options for reducing impacts.
The completed LCA supplied to ORE Catapult supported the organisation in decision-making for their future research into new blade materials.