Ever wondered what a circular economy is and what it has to do with offshore wind energy? Dr Anne Velenturf (Schools of Earth and Environment & Civil Engineering) has published two introductory blogs as part of her research with the EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment A Sustainable Circular Economy for Offshore Wind.
In collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Dr Velenturfs research on the potential for circular economy to contribute to sustainable offshore wind identifies the urgent need for new ways of managing resources, as growth ambitions quickly ramp up while first-generation turbines approach the ends of their lives. In this blog post Dr Velenturf sets out the core sustainability principles of a circular economy and its relevance to renewable energy. She proposes four key strategies for optimising the values of materials, components and products. New business opportunities are to be created through this approach with great potential for skilled jobs, green recovery and sustainability.
In a second blog post on related work with CIWM, Dr Velenturf invites input on a 15-point framework of circular economy strategies that can be used in offshore wind. Exploring the pros and cons of recycling, she suggests that there are much better ways of re-using components and materials from wind farms and proposes a detailed set of alternative measures. Your comments and contributions are encouraged.
You can keep up with this exciting research on circular economy and offshore wind by:
- watching a presentation given at Innovation Offshore organised by the Department for International Trade, repeated at End of Life Issues and Strategies 2020
- watching a short interview with Wind Europe on WindTV
- listening to a discussion with the Catapult and Renewable Parts on The Re-Energise podcast.