National Grid’s FES 2020: What is the Environmental Impact of 480 TWh per year from WASPs?

There are 83 GW of Offshore Wind required by 2050, equivalent to : 68 wind farms the size of Hornsea Project One

68 wind farms, with 174 x 7.0 MW Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs) means a total of 11,832 WTGs, which have to be installed by 2050 to meet the 83 GW target.

By the time the 83 GW target figure is reached, the first tranche of turbines will need to be decommissioned, as the follow-on, annual numbers of WTGs are being brought into operation.

BUT: that becomes an ongoing task every year thereafter:

Forever & Ever & Ever!

With 25-year lifespans, from 2050 onward, 1/25th of 11,832 WTGs will need to be starting up, as 1/25th are being decommissioned. Every year, 473 sets of 3 blades — weighing 84 tonnes per set — will require disposal.

That’s 39,732 tonnes of potentially toxic GRP heading for local landfill sites. Groundwater contamination has to be considered a possibility.

39,732 tonnes, every year, Forever & Ever & Ever!

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Offshore wind farms will eventually come ashore permanently, in the form of wind turbine blades heading for landfill. Coastline authorities — City, District, County or Regional levels — need to visualise what their ‘burden’ might entail, from 2050 onward.

By 2050, imagine 20 x 4.15 GW, near-coast wind farms , sited for the visual pleasure of (mainly urbanite) WTG-lovers. Each one 1,384 km², comprising of 591 or 592 x 7 MW WTGs. Commencing around the Thames Estuary, they would occupy 1/3rd of the UK’s coastline.

In 2050, the first one built would start to be decommissioned at the same time as the start of operation of a new 4.15 GW wind farm, ‘round the corner’, quite near John o’ Groats. The ‘Decommissioning-Authority’ would be in receipt of 591 or 592 sets (3 per) of WTG blades, each set with a combined weight of 84 tonnes.

And so it will go on, for the 2nd tranche of ‘new-build’, which will finish off around about St David’s Point. Then, it’s 1 decommissioned and 1 new operational 4.15 GW wind farm every year, to ‘complete the circle’ by the year 2100.

At that juncture (50 years-worth of decommissioning) between them, 60 Coastline Council landfill sites will have shouldered the burden of disposing of:

~ 2,000,000 tonnes of Offshore Windfarm GRP waste

— — — But it goes on Forever! So every century will accrue: — — —

~ 4,000,000 tonnes of Offshore Windfarm GRP waste

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