Most wind turbines are designed for a life cycle of 20 - 25 years. After this period, the turbines either have to be dismantled or the lifecycle has to be extended, in which case the wind turbine has to be partially refurbished.
While the dismantling processes for onshore turbines are well known, the experience with offshore wind farms is very limited. So far, only two offshore wind farms have been decommissioned (Ytrre Stengrund in Sweden and Vindeby in Denmark), as well as two nearshore plants (Windfloat 1 in Portugal and Hooksiel in Germany) and four wind turbines in the Ijsselmeer (Lely in the Netherlands).
This project aims to develop a sustainable end-of-life approach for offshore wind turbines. HILOG is responsible for the project management and various work package in this project. The project started in August 2018 and will end in January 2023.
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Below you will find all relevant reports initiated by the DecomTools project.
- Marktet Analysis
- Stakeholder Analysis
- Status Report on Onshore-Recycling and Reuse of Components
- Concept for repowering OWTs
- DecomTools Vessel Design – Presenting an Eco-Sustainable Approach to Decommission Offshore Wind Parks by designing a New Ship
- Assessment of recycling potential and circularity in decommissioning of offshore windfarms
- Requirement Catalogue for Qualification
- Requirement Catalogue for Infrastructure
- "Decommisioning Industry in Norway: Moving from Oil & Gas to Decommisioning of offshore wind parks", Andrés Olivares, Jens Christian Lindaas, 2020.
- "Requirements and technology for wind offshore decommissioning logistics in the framework of the research project DECOMTOOLS", Marcus Bentin, Hamed Askari, Stephan Kotzur, Marc Hillers, 2020.
- "Bending Wind Turbines Blades Circular", Nina Vielen-Kallio, 2020.
- "A Decision Support System for Decommissioning of Offshore Windfarms: The Data Platform", Alireza Maheri, Shahin Jalili, 2021.
The DecomTools project is supported by the INTERREG VB North Sea Region program with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
HWWI is an economic think tank focusing on “Energy, Climate, Environmental Economics” and “Regional Economics”. The transfer of knowledge from scientific research to practical application is the core of HWWI’s activities. HWWI has a proven expertise in analyzing market trends, assessing economic and policy impacts for individual sectors and developing targeted regional action plans. HWWI is experienced in the field of maritime industries including climate action and environmental challenges. HWWI has a focus on practice-oriented research for politics and enterprises. The participation in the project offers benefits beyond new input for the scientific community. It will enable HWWI to collaborate interdisciplinary with practitioners, engineering companies and port authorities. The results will feed into an exploitation plan safeguarding an efficient knowledge transfer. During validation with regional stakeholders, the methods and monitoring instruments undergo practical testing
HWWI has a long-time experience in EU co-financed projects such as Baltic Game Industry - Empowering a Booster for Regional Development, INTERREG VB, BSR Program 2014-2020. GoSmart Baltic Sea Region, INTERREG VB, BSR Program 2014-2020, DUAL Ports, INTERREG IV B North Sea Region Program 2014-2020, North Sea Supply Connect, INTERREG IVB NSR Program 2007-2013, INTERREG IVA project “Maritime Technologies and Innovation”.
HWWI will be primarily involved in tasks related to economic questions such as market and economic impact analyses, definition of infrastructural requirements and business model development. Due to its deep understanding of market processes and conditions in the North Sea Region will it contribute to the development of an exploitation plan and support the dissemination of project results, in particular with regard to a political audience.
MARLOG is part of Developing Fyn which encompasses 7 business areas and has almost 500 active companies coming from e.g. maritime, metal processing, robotics and environmental industries. MARLOG’s mission is to generate wealth, jobs and revenues. Thus, it is working with innovation-, project, and analysis activities. Cases includes decommissioning in oil & Gas, business model canvassing for port authorities, product development & fundraising e.g. hydrogen powered ships, autonomous shipping. MARLOG’s mission is to generate new jobs and revenues for its member companies. Maritime and wind energy industry is closely related with several overlaps of companies and competencies. Thus, it can gain knowledge which can be transferred directly to member companies. Member companies can in turn benefit from participating by getting new knowledge, services, products etc. to increase revenues.
MARLOG has participated in several international projects e.g. an Interreg BSR for tourism. It has previously participated in national and regional projects and was in fact established by national funds.
MARLOG will coordinate activities concerning the exploitation plan and will contribute with tasks in the gap analysis and we will compile activities and ensure project deliverables. It will contribute with a regional analysis of competencies and jointly participate in development of a total overview of players, competencies and gaps in infrastructure and labour market. It will also contribute with knowledge building and dissemination activities.
Energy Cluster Denmark has a European Cluster Excellence Gold Label and is highly skilled at handling international projects. We already work with several of the participants in this project and has a good track record of brining results to the table with its partners. We work strategically to strengthen cooperation and improve the innovation in the offshore wind industry. We create, convert and apply new knowledge and research for the benefit of SMEs and large companies as well as public institutions.
ECD will benefit from the project by gaining an inside and deep knowledge of the new business processes and opportunities of decommissioning of wind turbines. This knowledge and insight will be available to our members as well as the entire offshore wind industry in Denmark through our work and dissemination. It will pave the way for SME’s, large companies, and research institutions to develop their services and products to support an efficient and cost effective process of decommissioning.
ECD has participated in several EU co-financed projects within the offshore wind energy sector e.g. Inn2POWER, GADOW and ECOWindS. ECD was lead partner in ECOWindS and has the WP lead in one work package in the ongoing NSR project Inn2POWER.
We are responsible for overall external communication tools and will develop the in the communication plan outlined relevant communication content. ECD will transnationally coordinate and supervise the execution of the communication plan and activities. We will also secure the progress and execution of the activities and tasks related to dismantling and repowering.
AG Haven Oostende is a Flemish SME Port, focusing on the installation and maintenance of the Belgian offshore wind parks (outer port) and on circular economy (inner port). Today 232 wind turbines have been installed, of which the first ones 10 year ago. Within AGHO, an offshore cluster has been installed, involving more than 50 enterprises, including windmill manufacturers. AG Haven Oostende has developed and is leading the Offshore Wind Ports Platform within the European organization Wind Europe.
Considering the lifespan of the wind parks, there is a need for the AG Haven Oostende to get acquainted with the development of decommissioning procedures; considering the fact that no practical tests have been established and considering the exceptional character of these heavy –load operations, the port wants to prepare its infrastructure. Moreover, the port wants to investigate how the circular economy enterprises, active in the port, can be integrated in this process.
The port of Oostende has a long tradition of participating in EU regional development programs and projects, both as a lead partner and as a partner. The focus of the port hereby is to go for practical implementations of business cases. Within the North Sea program, AGHO has been leading projects like BEPPO and Dual Ports. The port participates in projects like Inn2power, focusing on the offshore industry.
AGHO will get engaged in process optimization and developing new concepts addressing logistical requirements for decommissioning. By involving other interested parties, AGHO will define the requirements to ensure that an existing roro berth is modified to carry heavy loads such as dismantled wind farm installations and platforms. In addition, AGHO will contribute to the elaboration of an exploitation plan in terms of business model development and public awareness raising.
POM West Vlaanderen has a cluster policy blue energy, focusing on offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. In this cluster, we bring together industry, knowledge institutions and local government to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation to take actions on the field of product & process, research & testing and internationalization. In the blue energy sector, the decommissioning of offshore wind turbines and its impact on regional economic development is a highly relevant and pressing issue.
The DecomTools project is relevant in the light of one of the main points in the roadmap of the blue energy cluster of POM: “In 2025, Flanders is pioneer in the re- and decommissioning of offshore wind turbines”. POM will use the results to further develop, fine-tune and implement its blue energy cluster policy with regard to decommissioning in close cooperation with our partners and define/work on actions in this field. Thanks to its large network, POM can help disseminate the results to relevant players.
POM has extensive experience in both participating in and managing EU co-financed projects (e.g. North Sea Supply Connect, FOOD Port, Oost-West Poort) Specifically for blue energy, POM is currently:
Lead partner in Inn2POWER (Innovation to Push Offshore Wind Energy Regions), Interreg North Sea Region Partner in MET-CERTIFIED (Development of International Standards and Certification Schemes for Marine Energy Technologies), Interreg 2 Seas
POM will disseminate project results, bring in stakeholders and organize events. In WP3, POM can carry out the market analysis at the regional level and will contribute to set up the business model in close cooperation with AGHO, thus forming a local duo.
Port of Grenaa considers circular economy, recycling and decommissioning as one of the most important strategic segments and has already a full supply chain of companies based at the port with specific knowledge into the recycling and decommissioning business. As Port of Grenaa has many years of experience of handling different offshore wind projects, we see decommissioning of wind turbines as a natural link to this.
The benefit for the organization is to extend our expertise in the market for decommissioning in general and specific related to the wind sector in order to be able to attract specialized decommissioning companies to establish themselves at Port of Grenaa.
The Port of Grenaa has a strong focus on industry and network connections and is considered one of Denmark’s leading ports for wind projects. Its docking facilities and road infrastructure make it an ideal location for activities demonstrating new decommissioning solutions. Together with Samsoe Kommune, they will pilot a business case for dismantling and recycling of a 10 turbine offshore wind farm.
The Lauwershorst Group develops and supervises activities and market developments in the field of energy, trade and engineering. The Group operates in Europe, China, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. DL is involved in the building of wind turbines onshore. They work together with Innogy (an RWE company) on the realization of wind turbine parks. Thereby DL acts as consultant in the establishment of wind turbine parks throughout the Netherlands. Furthermore, DL is involved in schooling projects concerning development of skills, workshops for higher educators, and program development and curricula. Currently DL is involved in projects concerning solar, LNG and H2.
DL as part of a consortium (in the field of maintenance, recycling, testing) is interested in the opportunities for the labour market. It will give new chances to develop techniques focused on recycling as well as employability that is a strong issue. The consortium sees possibilities because of decommissioning funding by the owners. Extra input will come from the refurbishing or upgrading of the wind turbines for the second hand market abroad. The consortium will consist of SME's out of the region.
DL was partner in the INTERREG project LNG Pilots. The program ran from 2016 until mid 2019. The involved personnel has been operating for previous companies as partner in different EU project since 1994 (Band, Leonardo, Equal, Erasmus+ and ESF).
DL focuses to identify schooling possibilities and schooling methods. Developing training programs will give a significant output to the current labour market. Development of schooling sessions and workshops for authorities, policymakers, lawmakers, company leaders and managers are part of the assignment.
Virol is a recycling company, which already contributes to circular economy through paper, metal, plastics and other materials. Through its trading subsidiary, WPT (Waste Paper Trade C.V.) Virol also is closely connected to European market for recycled materials.
As a Dutch company and therefore being strategically located nearby the North Sea, Virol sees great potential in recycling of materials originating from wind turbines.
Currently Virol is participating as a supporting partner to Horizon 2020 project “Ecobulk”, where recyclability of composites from different industries is investigated. Virol provides material originating from turbine blades for this project. The main role of Virol Metaal B.V is to organize the demonstration of recycling of wind turbine blades.
The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), established January 1th 2017, is a state institution of higher education, with 5 locations along the west coast of Norway. The new institution has a wide set of research activities within its fields of education. To be mentioned here of relevance to this project is especially our research and cooperation with the offshore industry, particularly within maritime- and subsea operations.
Offshore wind turbines are a relative new field for Norway and for our university. Through this project we expect to gain knowledge within this interesting area, and learn how to utilize our expertise and experience from the oil- and gas industry into this new field. Further, it is also our aim to distribute this knowledge to the community and industry in Norway. HVL is currently partner in 3 H2020 projects: MOVE, COEMS and CREATIONS.
Our main task in the DecomTools project will be to contribute to transfer knowledge and experience from the offshore oil- and gas industry to the offshore wind parks, especially in the area of decommissioning, as several offshore and subsea installations have already been decommissioned.
The University of Aberdeen has a strong intuitional focus on energy related research including both oil and gas and renewables. The University has expertise in the legal, economic, technical, logistical and environmental aspects of decommissioning and runs the world’s first multi-disciplinary MSc in Decommissioning. Staff within the School of Engineering have run externally funded projects on cutting and lifting for decommissioning as well as on the optimization of renewable energy systems.
The project will strengthen the University’s network of research partners across Europe and will widen its engagement with the decommissioning sector from an oil and gas focus to encompass renewables. The project fits well with a local focus on decommissioning, part of a government funded regional development plan, which includes the formation of a Centre of Excellence in Decommissioning.
The University has been a partner in a large number of EU projects including INTERREG projects. The School of Engineering currently has EU projects including the development of high voltage DC PROMOTion (Progress on Multiterminal DC networks), satellite communications (SatNEx Network of Excellence) and the applicants themselves have been involved in projects including DEGREE and BENTHIS.
The School of Engineering brings expertise in the development of systems for the decommissioning of offshore structures, offshore geotechnics and the optimization of engineering systems, particularly renewables systems and logistics to the project. The Aberdeen team will contribute primarily by reviewing and identifying the optimal technologies and strategies for decommissioning but their skills base will also enhance further work.
New Energy Coalition is working in the field of sustainable and durable energy development. As a cluster organization, Energy Valley has great experience in business development in the field of sustainable energy and offshore business. It is involved in regional efforts to develop new energy incentives such as Biomass and alternative gas as LNG and hydrogen. With the strong connection to the port of Eemshaven, North Sea energy and offshore wind developments are one of our main working fields.
NEC will benefit from the project by gaining deep knowledge of new business processes and opportunities of decommissioning of wind turbines. The knowledge will be transferred to our members and stakeholders in the region North Netherlands, which has a strong focus on offshore wind activities and recycling. SME’s, large companies and research institutions will benefit from the international development of services and processes regarding the wind decommissioning activities.
NEC has a lot of experience in European projects, with a strong focus on communication, project management and knowledge transfer as business development. NEC participated in the NSR projects ‘Energy Vision’ (Lp) and in ‘MepMap’. Currently we are partner in the Interreg B project ‘Northern Connection’ and Coordinator of the INTERREG 5A Project’ LNG Pilots’(2016-2019). In addition, NEC was lead partner in the strategic project ENSEA, where we were responsible for communication and business development.
Our main role in the project is to stimulate the business development and knowledge transfer within the NSR. Therefore, we will participate in the dissemination of the project by organizing regional and transnational workshops, distribute PR materials and be the linking pin between the project activities to other relevant projects and activities. We will analyze the relevant market-actors in the region and set up a regional exploitation plan with the other project partners.
Samsø Kommune has experience with sustainable local development since 1997. The Island of Samsø is 100% supplied by renewable energy from on- and near shore wind turbines, solar and biomass.
SK is the owner of 5 out of 10 near shore 2.3MW wind turbines. The Island will be fossil free island by 2030, working with Circular Economy as a driving principle for our activities. The island has the vision of becoming a full-scale model society for circular economy by 2027. As owners of near shore wind turbines built in 2003 SK is facing the task of decommissioning or repowering soon. We need a forum for both technical and organization discussions on how this can be tackled at Samsø, where wind energy is an Icon. We expect new knowledge from the project and its partners and new networks in Europe and we hope the project will help us make a specific decommissioning plan for the 10 nearshore wind turbines on Samsø based on the principles of circular economy.
Samsø Kommune has a strong tradition for participating in Interreg and other EU projects, e.g. Implement (Interreg ØKS), Biogas 2020 (Interreg ØKS), GO-LNG (Interreg Baltic Sea), SMILE (H2020) etc. In addition, the organization has participated in numerous other projects related to renewable energy and sustainable development.
Samsoe Kommune will bring the wind turbines owners’ perspective into the project and provide knowledge and experience from energy planning, engaging local citizens and circular economy. In collaboration with the Port of Grenaa, a business case pilot for the dismantling & recycling of a 10 turbine offshore wind farm at Samsoe will be developed. By involving other interested partners, the duo will identify management & physical requirements for dismantling, handling and recycling components.
Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team is the regulator on behalf of Scottish Ministers for multiple marine consents. MS-LOT assesses and issues Marine Licences for works and construction of marine renewables. MS-LOT deals with consents under the Electricity Act 1989 which allows generation of electricity in the Marine Environment. Since 2017 MS-LOT has been responsible for ensuring that a decommissioning plan and appropriate financial securities are in place at the time of construction.
MS LOT sees multiple benefits both to the environment and in cost reduction in this project. In assessing levels of securities MS-LOT is finding it difficult to test cost assumptions and as yet has little evidence of the potential for cost reduction due to economies of scale. Marine Scotland is interested in removal works with the smallest environmental impact to be associated with best practice in recycling.
Marine Scotland is currently working with Interreg North Sea. Marine Scotland Science in particular works internationally on multiple international fisheries projects. Marine Scotland is working with other parties to look at marine growth and how to deal with it both during operation and maintenance as well as at the end of life for a wind farm.