Around 28,000 wind turbines were installed in Germany in 2017, of which 387 were marked for dismantling. The old systems are still functional, but provide little revenue and are therefore being replaced by newer models. Their number will rise sharply starting in 2021, since from then on plants will fall under the state-guaranteed feed-in compensation according to the German Renewable Energy Sources Act, which provides for a maximum term of 20 years.
Some of the systems are being sold to buyers in southern and eastern Europe, but they partially have to be recycled. The Bremen-based company neocomp has already specialized in the reuse of rotor blades, which consist of glass fiber reinforced plastics (GRP). It shreds the rotor blades, mixes them with paper-based waste and sells them to cement plants that can use the mixture. In addition to discarded rotor blades, the company also processes production waste resulting from the manufacture and processing of lightweight GRP and thus also from the production of rotor blades. These remnants make up the largest part of the starting material, since there is currently only a very limited number of discarded rotor blades. According to neocomp, the company could sell significantly more recycled fiberglass, but it lacks material.