27% of installed capacity is approaching the end of its useful life

Spain, together with Portugal and Denmark, leads wind aging in Europe. This is what the European Employers Association WindEurope warned about in its latest report, where it indicated that The average lifespan of Spanish plants now reaches 14 years.

Data from the Association of Wind Energy Business (AEE) reveals that there are currently thousands of plants, with a total capacity of 8,440 MW, in operation for more than 20 years. Moreover, 1,433 MW exceeds 25 years. Any more than 27% of Spain’s installed capacity is approaching the end of its useful life.

Looking at next year 2025, there will be 9,991 MW of wind energy Those that have reached the end of their operating profits, including 2,339 megawatts, will exceed 25 years. In this situation, there are two alternatives to prolong the operation of the park: extending its useful life or repowering it.

(Wind energy companies will pay $338 million in environmental taxes nationally and regionally.)

the Extension of validity period It allows you to extend the operation of the facility for 5-10 years by replacing some parts or implementing improvements that bring its performance in line with that of a newly built park, but with a much lower investment.

the Reboot It consists of replacing old facilities with ones with larger capacities, allowing energy generation to be maximized with a smaller number of wind turbines.

Dismantling wind turbine blades.

Dismantling wind turbine blades.

Iberdrola

Several companies, including Siemens Gamesa, have initiated repowering projects to improve the performance of existing wind farms. In particular, Siemens Gamesa carries out partial power resupply through A project called “Energy Push”, This resulted in an estimated 5% increase in annual turbine capacity.

Iberdrola also announced in December last year that it would restart four onshore wind farms in Galicia and Castilla-La Mancha, its first in Spain. This will allow the number of wind turbines installed in both communities to be reduced by 200 The facilities’ energy production will increase by 30%..

To support this type of initiative and provide a solution to the problem of wind aging, in December The Ministry of Environmental Transition has launched a call for €223 million To rehabilitate gardens.

Turbine recycling

One of the big challenges posed by garden renovation is waste generation. According to estimates by the Institute for Diversification and Energy Saving (IDAE) in Spain It will produce about 10,000 tons per year Of blades and other components of wind turbines that reach the end of their useful life until 2030.

In June 2021, the Spanish and European wind energy industry committed that by 2025, 100% of dismantled blades could be reused, recycled or recovered, thus avoiding being transported to landfill.

Wind blades warehouse.

Wind blades warehouse.

Endesa

Currently, it is About 90% of the total weight of a wind turbine can be recycled. Most of the essential components, such as the foundation, tower and nacelle, are subject to reuse processes, as they are built with materials such as steel, copper, aluminum or concrete.

Therefore, large companies such as Iberdrola, Acciona, Endesa and Naturgy have their own circular economy projects. EnergyLOOP, a company powered by Iberdrola and the FCCIt will build its innovative wind turbine blade recycling plant in Spain in the municipality of Cortes Navarrese.

ACCIONA and REINERCYCLE They will operate their recycling plant in Lombier (Navaarra) in 2025. Acciona is promoting innovative initiatives to reuse recycled blades, such as the production of photovoltaic supports or even Sports shoes whose soles are made of these materials.

Endesa in collaboration with PreZeroIt is also working to start up a recycling plant in Cubillos del Sel (León). The company is backed by GE Renewable Energy and its subsidiary LM Wind Power.

For this part, Nature and ruralismhe Detain Among the investors in Caja Rural de Soria, created in 2022, a company dedicated to the comprehensive dismantling and recycling of wind farms, Jira wind.

(Tags for translation)Energy – Renewables

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