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Tens of billions of pounds could be generated for the UK economy from the re-use, refurbishment and re-engineering of broken wind turbine parts, according to a new coalition set-up to drive the creation of a circular supply chain for renewables in the UK.
Building the capabilities to refurbish wind turbine parts in the UK could also generate more than 20,000 full-time equivalent jobs by 2035, and prevent more than 800,000 tonnes of parts from being scrapped.
The group, which so far comprises Scottish-headquartered energy company SSE Renewables, the University of Strathclyde, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and Renewable Parts Ltd, made the statement as they launched CWIC, the new Coalition for Wind Industry Circularity.
Typically, when wind turbine parts fail or reach the end of their life, they are replaced by new components, with old parts mostly ending up as scrap. CWIC aims to change this, and establish a new, UK-based industry capable of moving towards a circular approach for replacing onshore and offshore wind components. Analysis 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.
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