GE Hooks up with Lafarge on Wind Turbine Deal

General Electric’s (NYSE:GE) renewables unit and LafargeHolcim, the world’s biggest cement manufacturer, have struck a deal to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades.

A memorandum of understanding will see the companies focus on exploring "circular economy solutions." Business practices connected to the notion of a circular economy have gained traction in recent years, with many companies around the world looking to operate in a way which minimizes waste.

In a statement Thursday, the firms added they were looking into "new ways of recycling wind blades, including as a construction material to build new wind farms."

The plans announced this week build on an already existing relationship between the two companies. Last June, GE Renewable Energy said it was going to partner with LafargeHolcim and another firm, COBOD International, to develop wind turbines that use 3D-printed concrete bases.

As governments around the world attempt to ramp up their renewable energy capacity, the number of wind turbines on the planet only looks set to grow. This will in turn increase pressure on the sector to find sustainable solutions to the disposal of blades.

Over the last few years, major players in wind energy have announced plans to try to tackle the problem. Just last week Denmark’s Orsted said it would "reuse, recycle, or recover" all turbine blades in its worldwide portfolio of wind farms once they’re decommissioned.

Last December, GE Renewable Energy and Veolia North America signed a “multi-year agreement” to recycle blades removed from onshore wind turbines in the United States.

GE shares inched forward five cents to $13.68.