FRP Wedge for Wind Power Blades

The development of green energy is an important measure to cope with global climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Wind energy is a clean and low-carbon renewable energy source, but it has a high cost-effectiveness. It has received extensive attention from countries all over the world. The International Energy Agency’s assessment shows that under the current energy and climate-related policies, the cumulative installed capacity of global wind power will reach 2,870 GW in 2050, which is five times that of 2018. By 2050, China’s wind power will increase to 20% of the country’s electricity supply, while the United States will increase to 35%. In addition, other African and South American countries are also committed to promoting the large-scale use of wind power. The core component of a wind power plant is a wind turbine. Its performance and efficiency depend heavily on the use of rare earth elements, especially neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. These rare earth elements have limited production capacity and a single source (more than 80% are from China), and the global supply chain is very fragile. Therefore, the conflict between the global shortage of rare earth resources and the development of global wind power may become increasingly serious.

Effectively assessing and predicting the availability of rare earth resources can help reconcile the contradiction between the supply of rare earth resources and the increasing demand for wind power. For example, considering the risk of shortage of rare earth resources in the future, some countries have tried to incorporate rare earth limiting factors into the design and promotion of wind power generation devices. Existing research focuses on the conflict between the global rare earth resource system and the wind power industry, and there is a lack of wind power blueprints for each region to conduct rare earth supply risk investigations. Expanding rare earth production, recycling materials, improving the efficiency of rare earth use, and technological innovation of wind turbines can alleviate the shortage of rare earth resources to a certain extent. At present, rare earth resources are considered to be protected strategic mineral resources, and it is difficult to achieve substantial expansion of production in the short term. Therefore, the recycling of rare earths and technological innovation can relieve the pressure of long-term shortage of rare earth resources to a certain extent. The life of a wind turbine is usually 20 years, which means that a large number of rare earths will be decommissioned with the wind turbine in 2040, which is a considerable potential rare earth resource.