The company overcoming the challenge of recycling wind turbines

Photo: Continuum

Continuum, the new European business, ensures ALL wind turbine blades are 100% recyclable and is set to deliver industrial scale recycling factories across Europe.

Net zero is the phrase on everyone’s lips, and as 2030 rapidly approaches we constantly hear updates about wind energy generating renewable energy that powers millions of European homes – but what happens when those turbine blades reach the end of their lifespan?

Quite simply, currently the general answer is to put them into landfill or co-process them into cement, but neither is planet friendly, and the former is certainly not sustainable for much longer as many countries in Europe look to ban landfill from 2025.

For Continuum, net zero doesn’t stop at generating clean energy from wind. They’re taking it a step further, by delivering to the European market a revolutionary industrial scale end-to-end service that ensures end of life wind turbine blades never die and most certainly never go to landfill or get hidden in energy hungry co-processed solutions.

When the end of their first life finally arrives, Continuum simply and efficiently recycle them into revolutionary new, high performing composite panels for the construction, and related industries.

The company’s vision is to abandon the current landfilling, and drastically reduce CO2 emitted during currently applied incineration & co-processing in cement factories by 100 million tons by 2050, via their state-of-the-art mechanical composite recycling technology and their industrial scale factories.

The technology is proven, patented, and ready to go. Reinhard Kessing, co-founder and CTO of Continuum Group ApS has spent 20+ years of research and development in this field, perfecting the reclamation of raw materials from wind blades and other composite products and transformation of these materials into new, high performing panel products.

By working with partners, Continuum’s first class, cost-effective solution covers end-to-end logistics and processes. This spans from the collection of the end-of-life blades through to the reclamation of the pure clean raw materials and then the remanufacturing of all those materials into high value, highly performing, infinitely recyclable composite panels for the construction industry or the manufacture of many day-to- day products such as facades, industrial doors, and kitchen countertops. The panels are 92% recycled blade material and greatly outperform competing products.

The result is a fully sustainable, ultra-low carbon footprint solution for an industry challenge that otherwise leaves mountains of waste.

Nicolas Derrien: Chief Executive Officer of Continuum Holdings ApS said: “We need solutions for the disposal of wind turbine blades in an environmentally friendly manner, we need it now, and we need it fast, and this is where Continuum comes in.  As a society we are rightly focussed on renewable energy production, however the subject of what to do with wind turbine blades in the aftermath of that production has not been effectively addressed. We’re changing that, offering a recycling solution for the blades and a construction product that will outperform most other existing construction materials and be infinitely recyclable, and with the lowest carbon footprint in its class.”

Martin Dronfield, Chief Commercial Officer of Continuum Holding ApS and Managing Director of Continuum Composite Transformation (UK) Ltd, added “We need wind energy operators and developers across Europe to take a step back and work with us to solve the bigger picture challenge. Continuum is offering them a service which won’t just give their business complete and sustainable circularity to their operations but help protect the planet in the process.”

Each Continuum factory in Europe will have the capacity to recycle a minimum of 36,000 tonnes of end- of-life turbine blades per year and feed the high value infinitely recyclable product back into the circular economy by 2024/25.