Circular economy for post-use wind blade composite materials

EGP is a partner in the EU’s DeremCo project, which will help the wind sector in creating a value chain for the reuse of composites material from wind blades.

Enel Green Power, together with 30 European partners from Italy, Finland, Austria, Spain, Slovenia, Belgium and Portugal, collaborates within the EU-funded project DeremCo “De & Remanufacturing for Circular Economy Investments in the Composite Industry”, started in December 2022.

The project aims at creating a systemic, cross-sectorial and demand driven circular economy solution that will enable the cost-effective reuse of fiber-reinforced polymer materials and components in new high-added value products. This solution will be based on the interaction between the technical and social eco-systems at the local and interregional level and will benefit the environment, industry, consumers, and the European society.

In the wind sector, most turbine parts are relatively easy to recycle, as they are mainly made up of metal parts. But one question remains: how to dispose of the enormous amount of materials that are difficult to recycle, like the fiber-reinforced polymer used in turbine blades. Fiber-reinforced plastics are the structural components of a wide range of consumer and industrial goods as well, and managing composite products after use in accordance with the principles of the circular economy remains a significant challenge.

DeremCo project will help the wind sector in creating a value chain for the reuse of composites material from wind blades.

The project, funded within the EUInterregional Innovation Investment (I3) Instrument (Call I3-2021-INV1 – Topic I3-2021-INV1-MANU) started in December 2022 and will last 3 years, with an overall budget of 12 M€, and is coordinated by Politecnico di Milano (

To effectively reach the reuse of fiber-reinforced polymer and to satisfy consumer demands, two circular pilot procedures will be used: 1) mechanical demanufacturing and hybrid reprocessing, and 2) thermo-chemical demanufacturing and textile reprocessing.

The circular value-chain will be changed into a “pull” system, in line with the new DeremCo demand-driven vision, where the demands and specifications on the materials and components to be reused are transferred directly from the demand side in terms of the qualities and functions of the high added-value products reusing them. The major objectives will be to encourage industrial uptake within local eco-systems, to de-risk future industrial uptake through private investments, and to raise awareness for more conscientious consumer behavior to assure sustainability and continuity.

Within the project, EGP is responsible of the definition of the requirements of the interregional demonstration cases to define the new value chain architectures, the target KPIs needed to validate the demonstration case final results and to maximize the exploitation, replication, and multiplication in future industrial scenarios of the DeremCo solutions. EGP will also support the definition of recommendations for policy makers on how the legislations should be improved to promote the reuse of fiber-reinforces polymers.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s ERDF under grant agreement No 101084037. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.