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No energy source is entirely clean. Batteries require rare earth mineral mining and pile-up in landfills, biomass plants need agricultural products, and so on. But the world’s largest turbine manufacturer is ensuring that at least wind power will create as little by-product as possible, by pushing to create 100% recyclable wind turbine blades. Sporting 18% of the world wind power market share, Vestas is the first wind power company to commit to producing fully recyclable blades. Giant wind turbine blades are made from a mixture of glass and carbon fiber heated together with sticky epoxy resin, and these materials can’t normally be separated once combined, which means they get chucked into the landfill when they’re too battered to safely operate. Conscious that the global market for wind energy is growing by about 3% per year, Vestas explains that they can see a problem in the making—and they’re looking to get out in front of it. The company plans to tackle the recyclability problem for the next 20 years, until they’re operating at zero waste by 2040.

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