Wind Power Giant RWE will Use Wooden Turbine Towers to Lower Emissions

By: | April 8th, 2023

Image by RWE

Worldwide, industries are shifting to renewable energy sources to generate power. Though the renewable infrastructure helps in reducing emissions, it creates a lot of waste once it reaches the end of the designed lifetime.

With rapid worldwide growth in wind power generation, there is increased pressure on the use of fossil materials such as iron and steel. As a result, there is an upsurge in their carbon footprint.

Now, German power giant RWE Renewables has collaborated with Swedish start-up Modvion to potentially reduce its carbon footprint by using renewable materials.

“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.

The duo plan to test the wooden tower technology and get ready to equip future wind farms with wooden towers

According to the company’s estimate, this can help in saving up to 90 % of emissions over the wind turbine’s life cycle. Moreover, the wood tower also stores carbon dioxide…further reducing the actual climate impact.

“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.

Cost-effective solution to the industry’s demand for taller towers

Laminated wood is stronger and lighter in weight compared to conventional materials such as steel and concrete. Moreover, Modvion’s patented wind turbine towers are built in modules that can be easily transported 

The first Modvion commercial wind turbine will be installed in 2023

Modvion is planning to install its first commercial turbine tower later this year. Made of laminated wood, this tower will accommodate a Vestas V90 2MW wind turbine. Including the blades, the entire model will be 150 meters (492 feet) tall. The firm has plans for a 6-megawatt installation.

“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.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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