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CO2 Emissions from Blade Waste Treatments under Wind Power Scenario in Japan from 2021 to 2100

Wind power generation has been introduced to reduce carbon emissions; however, recycling or recovering the waste of wind blades, which contain fibre-reinforced plastic, is difficult. Converting the recovered materials for secondary use is also difficult owing to the decreased strength and low material value. Many countries, including Japan, have not considered the future energy and CO2 emission scenarios, particularly CO2 emissions from wind blade waste. Based on these scenarios, Japan has planned to introduce large amounts of onshore/offshore wind power generation through 2050. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate quantitatively the total amount of waste and the global warming potential (GWP) from multiple blade waste treatment processes. Based on the average lifetime of blades (20–25 years), we found that the GWP of wind blade waste treatment in Japan may reach a maximum of 197.3–232.4 MtCO2eq by 2060–2065. Based on this lifetime, the wind blade treatment in 2050 accounted for 63.9–80.1% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in 2050. We also showed that the rise in CO2 emissions from the wind blade wastes would make up 82.5–93.6% of the potential reduction in the GWP, which is achievable by shifting from thermal to wind power generation.

Publication date: 05/03/2024

Author: Shota Nogaki

Reference: doi: 10.3390/su16052165

MDPI (sustainability)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.