State-of-the-art value chain roadmap for sustainable end-of-life wind turbine blades

K. W. Lund*, E. S. Madsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Increasing volumes of wind turbine blades (WTBs) meeting their end-of-life are expected in the coming years, while establishing sustainable value chains for handling the blades is still at an early stage. Through a systematic literature identification and review process, current literature on sustainable end-of-life management and technologies for wind turbine blades is identified to map state-of-the-art. The review resulted in the identification of four overarching research themes with sixteen underlying research topics. The study findings highlight that research so far has mainly been focused on recycling technologies and material properties of recovered WTB material. Furthermore, none of the reviewed literature contained empirical data from end-of-life blade projects. Thus, there is a lack of data and knowledge on the complete value chain, including processes of logistics, sectioning, pre-processing, and refining recovered materials for secondary applications. Furthermore, the understanding of the environmental, social, and cost impacts of these processes are also found to be absent. Based on a consolidation of findings, a complete value chain roadmap of required processes and technologies for sustainable end-of-life routes of WTBs is presented. The roadmap and results illustrate a baseline for current practices but also calls for further research into optimization and impact assessment of value chains. Thus, the presented roadmap has implications for academia, wind turbine producers and owners to aid the assessment of which practices and technologies to utilize when decommissioning WTBs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114234
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Decommissioning
  • End-of-Life
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • Value chain
  • Waste management
  • Wind turbine blades


Dive into the research topics of 'State-of-the-art value chain roadmap for sustainable end-of-life wind turbine blades'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this