Our main targets
- We want to provide fully recyclable blades by 2032.
- We want to decrease the carbon footprint of our turbines by 25% by 2025.
- We want to keep the customer satisfaction at a high level of 4 (scale 1-6).
Economic & environmental efficiency and circularity
~60 MILLION TONNES OF CO2E EMISSIONS WERE SAVED WORLDWIDE IN 2021 THANKS TO OUR TURBINES
When designing our turbines, but also during construction, installation, service and the end-of-life phases, we actively consider ecological, social and health-related aspects such as material selection, noise emissions, service optimization or recyclability.
To keep wind energy viable for the future while competing with other energies, the costs of power generation need to be reduced even further. For this reason, annual cost reduction is an important strategic goal at the Nordex Group.
OUR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT APPROACHES
We are constantly working towards our goal of meeting globally growing energy demand with power produced using regenerative and environmentally-friendly technologies, and thereby actively driving the energy transition. The satisfaction of our customers is a decisive factor for our company’s success. For this reason, it is very important for us to consider our customers’ perspectives, understand their needs and orientate our services based on these requirements.
Lower material use and efficiency
gains through modularization
We have paid special attention to harmonization and the modularity of components since the Delta4000 turbine in order to serve the global market, together with lower resource use by intelligently reusing components and production resources from previous turbines in the Delta4000 product range to develop the N163/6.X.
Dismantling and recycling
Internal analyses and sector-internal calculations show that around 85% to 95% of materials used in a wind turbine are already recyclable, and we focus on the composite materials used in rotor blades to enhance recyclability further. We engage and work with WindEurope, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) to research alternative methods alongside existing technologies such as material and thermal recycling in the cement industry.
Reduction in Cost of Energy
Reduction of electricity generation costs with the company-wide “Cost of Energy (COE) program”, for example, using “value up” approaches such as yield increase or extension of service life with equivalent or only slightly increased usage of resources. This goes hand in hand with “cost down” initiatives such as improving logistics concepts for more efficient transport as well as material savings in components through better design.
Repair and refurbishment
Strong service with improved product development processes to minimize downtimes and maximize yields, e.g. by using self-hoisting crane solutions – and thereby reducing the environmental impact of our turbines.
Expanded range of applications for
Nordex turbines worldwide
Technical optimizations to develop high-yield sites with particularly low and high average temperatures.
Replacing wind turbines at the end of their planned design service life with more efficient turbines to maximize energy generation. In this way, we work towards achieving targets in the area of renewable energies and make considerable gains in resource efficiency.
Product Health & Safety
Implementation of health and safety requirements for a smooth maintenance process, a safe working environment and reduced downtimes. Continual observation of all relevant regional market requirements and identification of statutory and normative minimum obligations in the relevant target markets and operating markets.
Turbine control systems to protect flora, fauna and local residents
Innovative control of facilities to protect flora and fauna as well as local residents by offering a variety of operating modes and equipment modules (e.g. needs-based warning lights for aircraft, shadow flicker module, special-purpose wildlife protection modules or sound-reduced modes).
Life cycle assessment and material mix
LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)
In 2019, we analyzed the environmental performance of a wind farm equipped with Delta4000 turbines.
One significant indicator here is the carbon footprint, measured in greenhouse gas emissions per generated kilowatt-hour of electricity. For this purpose, the greenhouse gases emitted over the entire life cycle of a wind turbine are compared with the energy yield. In the case of the wind farm calculated during this assessment, this value was 6.5 g CO2e/kWh.
A comparison with the specific carbon footprint of fossil energy sources makes it clear that highly efficient wind power plants play a major role in global emission reductions. Detailed insights are provided in the audited LCA report: LCA Delta4000.
Based on this LCA study, the Nordex Group also published an Environmental Product Declaration in accordance with the requirements of EPDItaly.
In the Nordex Group we perform life cycle assessments (LCAs) according to ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 to evaluate the environmental impacts of our products in order to identify optimization potential and track improvements.
Taking a look at the materials used in a Nordex N149/4.0-4.5 TS105 turbine – which is the same turbine type as in the LCA study – it can be seen that the foundation already accounts for around three quarters of the total weight.
Regarding the turbine alone (without its foundation), steel is the dominant material making up 87% of the material mix, followed by glass fiber and carbon fiber reinforced composites at 9% and plastics at 1.5%. The remaining 2.4% are composed of other materials such as operating fluids, electronics, aluminium or copper.
The material composition depends on the Nordex turbine type. With hybrid or concrete towers, the material mix will look different.
ENERGY AND CARBON PAYBACK TIME
The energy payback time represents the running time required for a turbine to generate the amount of energy that is consumed over its complete life cycle. The result for a Delta4000 turbine is 7.7 months. For comparison, the energy payback time for photovoltaic systems is around 1 to 2 years.
The carbon payback time represents the period of time a turbine needs to be in operation before it has avoided as many carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emissions as were potentially released over its entire lifecycle. The result for a Delta4000 turbine is 4.2 months. After only around 4 months of operation, a Nordex turbine starts paying back its carbon emissions!