Denmark Breathes New Life Into Junk Wind Turbine Blades. As Recycled Bike Shelters?

In a shrewd twist of sustainable application.
Irmak Bayrakdar
A repurposed wind turbine blade that's now a bike shelter.SiemensGamesa/Twitter

Since using non-renewable energy sources to generate power only accelerates Earth's doom, industries across the world are shifting their focus on greener alternatives for the last few decades. But while these alternatives have proven to be of help in reducing emissions and creating a more sustainable world, the adoption of renewable energy technologies is causing an increase in equipment waste.

That's where the Re-wind Network comes in with ingenious repurposing ideas for Denmark's old wind turbine blades.

Repurposing wind turbine blades in public areas

Denmark is one of the pioneering countries in terms of green energy. The country generates 40% of its total energy needs from wind and pledges to take it up the 70% by 2030. While wind energy is both a sustainable and a smart option compared to coal and gas, and Denmark deserves all the praise for its commitment to a greener future, wind turbines usually have a lifespan of 20-25 years. As a result, they're huge, not very recyclable or biodegradable, and they often end up in landfills, occupying large areas. 

As a solution to this ever-increasing, industry-wide issue, the Danish government had commissioned some companies with the recycling task over a three-year period including Siemens, who had built the world's first recyclable wind turbine earlier this month. 

Now another team of the Re-Wind research project is working on the problem, who have shown that these gigantic wind turbine blades can be repurposed as bike shelters, pedestrian bridges, and parking areas for commercial use at large. What's more, all these blades need is a little shaping with little material needed for the reusing.

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The research team is exploring old wind turbine blades’ potential reuse in architectural and engineering structures in Denmark, for the time being.

Like most solutions to major problems, renewable energy technologies solve the issue of traditional energy sources that contribute to environmental pollution but inevitably come with some problems of their own. In perplexing situations such as these, it's inspiring to see human imagination playing an important part in repurposing what once was considered junk.