Wooden wind turbine blades offer a more sustainable option

May 3, 2024
Voodin Blade Technology CEO Tom Siekmann said the blades could be suitable for offshore turbines in the future.

By Ariana Hurtado


LICHTENFELS, Germany — Manufacturer Voodin Blade Technology has announced the world’s first prototype installation of its 19.3-m wooden wind turbine blades. The 100% biodegradable blades are installed on an existing wind turbine in Breuna, Germany. 

After thorough laboratory testing, the Voodin team is confident the material will thrive in even the toughest conditions.

"Currently we are only focusing on onshore turbines. However, in due course, we do not see any reason why our blades should not be suitable for offshore turbines," CEO Tom Siekmann told Offshore.

The company said using laminated veneer lumber as a material is more sustainable than current materials and enables noticeably better recycling of decommissioned blades, a high level of automation and more flexibility.

Up to 90% of wind turbines are recyclable, according to a 2022 GWEC report, but the blades are not. Wind turbine blades are made of fiberglass and carbon fiber bound together with epoxy resin, a material that is difficult and expensive to break down, the company explained. The usual lifecycle of wind turbine blades is 20 to 25 years, but the fiberglass and epoxy resin cannot be reused after the blade is decommissioned.

“At the end of their lifecycle, most blades are buried in the ground or incinerated. This means that—at this pace—we will end up with 50 million tonnes of blade material waste by 2050,” Siekmann added.

Moving forward, the company is now building new recyclable prototypes, including bigger 60-m and 80-m blades.


About the Author

Ariana Hurtado | Editor and Director of Special Reports

With more than a decade of copy editing, project management and journalism experience, Ariana Hurtado is a seasoned managing editor born and raised in the energy capital of the world—Houston, Texas. Utilizing her editorial expertise, she helps create and oversee new special industry reports and revolutionizes existing supplements, while also contributing content to Offshore magazine, its newsletters and website as a copy editor and writer. In addition, she manages digital media for the Offshore team.