What happens after twenty or thirty years, the average service life of a wind turbine?
Well, in France, they are recycled and the site is remediated! What’s more, a turbine’s end of life is planned before it even begins operating: in facilities that are classified for environmental protection (the French ICPE status), wind turbines are governed by strict regulations. At the start of each project, the future operator has to include an accounting provision proportional to the size of the turbine, a sum that increased in 2020 (€50,000 per turbine plus an extra €10k/MW over 2 MW). For example, a recycling fund of €60,000 is required for a 3 MW wind turbine. N.B. this provision is not exclusive! The operator has to dismantle the turbine and remediate the site, even if their costs are higher than the provision.