Swedish renewables giant will use wooden wind turbines to lower emissions

Almost four out of ten Swedes feel more positive about wind power if the towers are built of wood. 
Loukia Papadopoulos
The wooden wind turbines being installed.jpg
The wooden wind turbines being installed.


Modvion and RWE Renewables Sweden AB are entering a fruitful partnership that will see the first supply wooden towers to RWE’s future onshore wind farms. The deal is part of RWE’s ambitious plans to increase its production capacity while reducing its carbon footprint. 

This is according to a press release by RWE published on Thursday.

“We see that modular towers in laminated wood have significant market potential and can contribute to lowering the cost of new renewable electricity production by replacing steel and concrete with environmentally friendly and climate-smart wood. RWE will be assessing Modvion’s wooden tower for potential use in future wind farms,” said Lars Borisson, Head of Onshore Origination & Development Nordics at RWE Renewables.

Wooden towers have the potential to become an important complementary material in tower construction as, according to a sifo survey carried out by Modvion, almost four out of ten Swedes feel more positive about wind power if the towers are built of wood. 

“Our technology can help the wind industry dramatically reduce emissions, while facilitating taller towers to reach stronger winds. It’s great to see leading companies like RWE looking to support innovation that enables renewable energy from renewable materials,” said Maria-Lina Hedlund, CFO and acting CEO at Modvion.

Modvion’s patented wind turbine towers provide a cost-effective solution to the industry’s demand for taller towers. Laminated wood is stronger than steel proportionate to its weight making for lighter more practical towers. 

Furthermore, Modvion’s towers are built in modules that can be easily transported while building using wood enables radical emission reductions particularly compared to conventional materials such as steel and concrete.

Increasing the sustainability of wind power

“The aim is to further increase the sustainability of wind power. Turbine towers made out of wood have the potential to be an important component in helping the wind power industry become fully carbon neutral. As one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, this partnership aligns well with RWE’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2040”, said Borisson.

“Wood is a renewable material that enables radical reductions in emissions. According to a life cycle analysis from the Swedish research institute RISE, using a wooden tower reduces emissions by 90 percent when compared to a conventional steel tower of the same height and load. Considering that wood also stores carbon, the tower’s climate impact is actually lower.“

“A conventional tower is responsible for the largest portion of emissions that arise from the production of wind turbines. By using wood, the tower becomes carbon negative, storing more carbon than is emitted during production,” added Hedlund. 

The first Modvion commercial wind turbine will be installed in 2023 and the firm has plans for a 6-megawatt installation, which will be one of the largest turbines used on land, revealed RWE's press statement.

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