Case Study

Commercialising sustainable materials for wind turbines

New bio-materials and manufacturing techniques enable more sustainable wind turbines

CamIn works with early adopters to identify new opportunities enabled by emerging technology.

$10 billion+
Employee headcount:
Head of innovation

of CamIn’s project team comprised of leading industry and technology experts

CamIn’s expert team

CamIn team members
Core material
Adhesives and coatings
Fibre and pultrusion

World-class experts


Technologies analysed


Week project duration

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Sustainable manufacturing
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While most wind turbine components, including steel, copper wire and electronics, can be recycled once a wind turbine is decommissioned, the blades have traditionally posed a problem. Most of the wind turbine blades we see today are made of fibreglass, a composite material that’s difficult to recycle.

A roadmap towards more sustainable wind turbine blades

We were commissioned by a wind turbine manufacturer with global operations, to improve the sustainability of their products, and especially their wind turbine blades. The client was overwhelmed by the variety of new manufacturing technologies and alternative materials, and they needed expert advice to identify the most promising developments. By getting an objective assessment of the innovation space, our client would be able to tune their roadmaps for internal development and prioritise the right projects. Specifically, our client asked us to determine which emerging technologies were most promising for improving the sustainability of each major component of their wind turbine blades, and estimate when each of these promising emerging technologies would be mature enough to be integrated into their operations.

Innovations in sustainable wind turbines

We assembled three groups of researchers to investigate the applicability of various new technologies to specific aspects of the manufacturing process for wind turbine blades/. These included techniques related to working with fibres and pultrusions, new designs for adhesives and coatings and potential alternatives for conventional turbine blade core materials.

Each research group identified the latest innovations and estimated which technologies would make an impact over the next five years. We selected experts actively driving innovations in this space and who know the latest developments in their fields. This meant they were best able to advise which opportunities were worth pursuing and what pitfalls to avoid. Our research groups each analysed more than 30 technologies and approaches to determine the five to ten most suitable ones for improving the sustainability of wind turbine blades.

Project Output Examples

By assembling a diverse team of handpicked experts, our client was able to get access to cutting-edge scientific analysis of more than 100 different technologies.

An objective assessment of innovation opportunities

By assembling a diverse team of handpicked experts, our client was able to get access to cutting-edge scientific analysis of more than 100 different technologies. The resulting objective assessment, and the process and technology benchmarks allowed our client to focus on promising new approaches.

Experts for fibres and pultrusion techniques, adhesives and coatings, and core materials have investigated what technologies that contribute to blade sustainability are emerging today, in five years, and in ten years, and which of these should be integrated into the client’s innovation pipeline.