Wind and solar power will play a crucial role in curbing climate change, but what happens to all the worn-out turbines and photovoltaic panels once they are past their best?
Most wind turbine blades are almost impossible to recycle, and solar panels are very expensive to disassemble, but efforts are under way to prevent a possible renewable waste mountain.
Presenter Graihagh Jackson hears how old wind turbine blades are being turned into everything from bridges to flowerbeds, and we visit one of the world’s only solar panel recycling facilities. Plus – what’s the carbon footprint of a wind turbine or a solar panel in the first place?
Plus we hear from listeners Prateek, Alex and Elle.
Let us know what you think about the show – email [email protected]
Paul Leahy, lecturer in wind energy at University College Cork, Republic of Ireland, and principal investigator at Re-Wind;
Ute Collier, deputy director of the Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre at the International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi;
Guy Chichignoud, chief technology officer, ROSI, France;
Vivian Jia Tong Li, campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia, Beijing.
Producer: Simon Tulett
Researchers: Matt Toulson and Pierre-Antoine Denis
Series Producer: Alex Lewis
Editor: Simon Watts
Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
Production Coordinators - Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill