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WindEurope has presented a new Industry Guidance Document for the dismantling and decommissioning of onshore turbines. 34,000 wind turbines in Europe are now 15 years or older, representing 36 GW of capacity. Most of the ageing capacity is in Germany. Spain, France and Italy also have a lot. 9 of the 36 GW are 20-24 years old and around 1 GW are 25 years or older.
WindEurope expects the repowering of ageing wind farms to be a major trend over the next decade. To date Europe has repowered at least 123 wind farms but repowering is still limited. This will change. In the next 10 years WindEurope expects over 20GW to be repowered. Repowering reduces the number of turbines by a third while tripling the electricity output.
The Guidance Document gives a comprehensive overview of the rules and regulations on decommissioning across Europe. And it defines best practice on how to decommission - with recommendations for dismantling, onsite cutting and separation and how best to load and transport material. It also covers health and safety requirements.
WindEurope submitted the Guidance to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) TC88 as input to the ongoing amendment of 61400-28 CD Technical Specification which focuses on the end-of-life of wind turbines. WindEurope hopes this will contribute to the creation of an international industry standard for sustainable decommissioning and dismantling of onshore wind turbines.
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