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The GreenerTower, a wind turbine tower composed of more environmentally friendly steel, was unveiled by Siemens Gamesa today. Steel plates make for about 80% of towers. In comparison to traditional steel, the new GreenerTower will guarantee that the tower steel plates will have a minimum CO2 reduction of 63%. With the same steel characteristics and quality, Siemens Gamesa’s new stringent certification procedure will confirm that only a maximum of 0.7 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions are allowed per tonne of steel.
“One of the pillars of the switch to green energy is wind power. In the next five years, more than 600 GW of new capacity will be deployed globally, thus the wind sector needs to lessen its carbon footprint. One such approach is our attempt to use greener steel to reduce emissions. Siemens Gamesa is leading the charge to further advance wind circularity and net-zero emissions with the introduction of the GreenerTower, according to Maximilian Schnippering, Head of Sustainability at Siemens Gamesa.
More than one-third of the CO2 emissions associated with wind turbines today are attributable to the production of towers. More than 466,000 cars would be taken off European roads for a year if all the company’s towers built in a year were replaced with GreenerTowers. For projects that will be constructed starting in 2024, this new CO2-reduced tower will be a choice for both onshore and offshore wind turbines.
The first order for the GreenerTower has already been closed. 36 GreenerTowers will be installed at the 1,000 MW Thor offshore wind generation project in Denmark, according to an agreement between RWE and Siemens Gamesa. Starting in 2026, a total of 72 SG 14-236 DD offshore wind turbines are expected to be installed. Offshore wind already has one of the lowest life-cycle carbon footprints of all power production technologies, according to Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind.
At RWE, we are wholly dedicated to achieving net-zero emissions and circularity. We have already begun real-world testing of Siemens Gamesa’s first recyclable wind turbine blades. RWE is once again taking the lead by drastically lowering the carbon footprint of wind turbines by testing the GreenerTower at our Thor offshore wind farm.
The first qualified supplier is the German steel producer Salzgitter AG, which operates the heavy plate mill Ilsenburger Grobblech GmbH. This qualification has been confirmed by third-party certification. Utilising more scrap steel, less energy-intensive steel manufacturing techniques, and more renewable energy sources are all part of the process to manufacture greener steel. For instance, renewable electricity from offshore wind projects will be used to fuel the electric arc furnace as one of the steps to decarbonize steel production.
For every tonne of steel manufactured, 1.91 tonnes of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. Siemens Gamesa significantly reduces the footprint of the main component in terms of CO2-equivalent emissions by establishing an aggressive target of 0.7 tonnes CO2-equivalent emissions per tonne of steel.