Paris, FRANCE and Zug, SWITZERLAND, June 10, 2021
GE Renewable Energy and Holcim announced today an MOU to explore circular economy solutions to utilize materials from decommissioned wind turbines. Building on Holcim’s 10+ years of experience in recovering energy from wind turbine blades, the companies are exploring new ways of recycling wind blades, including as a construction material to build new wind farms.
Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy said, “This is a truly exciting next step in our journey to introduce new circular lifecycle improvements for the wind industry. We are delighted to work with Holcim on these critical projects, which will help to improve the sustainability of wind power now and well into the future.”
Edelio Bermejo, Head of Holcim’s Global Innovation Center said: “With sustainability at the core of our strategy, accelerating renewable energy and the circular economy are top priorities for our business. I’m very excited about this collaboration with GE Renewable Energy because it meets both goals at once.”
With its Research & Development team, Holcim is exploring how wind turbine blades can be turned into sustainable construction materials. This research builds on the company’s work, under its Geocycle brand, to recover energy from GE’s decommissioned turbine blades after they have been removed from the turbine and shredded. Geocycle currently offers co-processing solutions for wind blades in Germany and will evaluate the possibility of extending this solution to other parts of Europe.
This next phase continues the collaboration between these two companies, following the 2020 announcement to co-develop wind turbine towers at record heights using concrete 3D-printing together with COBOD, the Danish 3D printing start-up. Since the start of that collaboration, wind turbine tower prototypes have been developed using concrete 3D printing technology that is stronger, more efficient, and can be built ten times faster than before.
This announcement is a key next step in both partners’ focus on circular solutions—especially for the European market— at a time when the European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan, one of the main blocks of the European Green Deal.
Nearly 10GW of aging turbines in Europe are expected to be repowered or decommissioned by 2025. GE Renewable Energy is committed to bringing circular lifecycle solutions to the market through strategic technology developments and has recently announced a number of key agreements and partnerships.
As part of it net zero journey, Holcim is actively driving the circular economy to build more with less. As a world leader in recycling, Holcim recycled 46 million tons of materials across its business in 2020 and is on its way to 100 million tons by 2030.
About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $15.7 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons.
As the world’s global leader in building solutions, Holcim is reinventing how the world builds to make it greener and smarter for all. On its way to becoming a net zero company, Holcim offers global solutions such as ECOPact, enabling carbon-neutral construction and Firestone roofing systems for higher energy-efficiency in buildings. With its circular business model, the company is a global leader in recycling waste as a source of energy and raw materials through products like Susteno, its leading circular cement. Innovation and digitalization are at the core of the company’s strategy, with more than half of its R&D projects dedicated to greener solutions. Holcim’s 70,000 employees are committed to improving quality of life across more than 70 markets through its four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.
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