Renewables

Sweden installs tallest wooden wind power tower in Europe

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Published

May 6, 2020

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Published:

May 6, 2020

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Sweden’s first wooden wind tower is now ready on Bjorko island near the city of Gothenburg. The wood construction is as strong as steel and makes the wind turbine climate-neutral from the start, the constructors said.

It is not the first wooden wind tower in Europe, but it is much larger than other finished projects.

The tower is 30 meters high and was erected by development company Modvion.

Wooden structures replace emission-intensive materials such as steel

The wind power tower will be used for research purposes. But already in 2022, the first wooden towers will be built on a commercial scale, Modvion said in a press release.

The lower weight of the wood and the modular concept make it possible to build taller towers

Modvion has signed declarations of intent with Varberg Energi for a 110-meter high tower and with Rabbalshede Kraft for 10 towers of at least 150 meters.

Wooden structures enable radical emission reductions by replacing emission-intensive materials such as steel and concrete. Wooden wind towers can be built at a smaller cost than steel, which lowers the cost of wind energy.

Wind towers in wood can be built at a lower cost than steel

Wood’s lower weight and the modular concept make it possible to build taller towers, the sections of which can be transported on public roads.

The tower was financed by the Swedish Energy Agency, the Vastra Gotaland Region and the European Union’s programme Horizon 2020 SME Instruments Phase 1.

“We can store carbon dioxide in the design”

“This is a major breakthrough that paves the way for the next generation of wind turbines. Laminated wood is stronger than steel at the same weight and by building in modules, the wind turbines can be taller. By building in wood, we also reduce carbon dioxide emissions in manufacturing and instead store carbon dioxide in the design”, says Otto Lundman, CEO of Modvion AB.

The carbon dioxide absorbed by trees as they grow is stored in the wooden towers

The carbon dioxide absorbed by trees as they grow is stored in the wooden towers, which means that the wind turbines are climate-neutral right from the start.

The Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre at Chalmers is the client for the wooden tower on Bjorko.

“Wind power is expected to be the EU’s largest power source as early as 2027. With wind towers in wood, we get even more climate-smarter renewable electricity to face the climate crisis,” says Ola Carlson, director of the Swedish Wind Power Technology Centre and assistant professor of renewable power generation.

The 30-meter tower was built together with Moelven at the gluewood factory in Töreboda.

“Wood has fantastic properties and we need to build much more in wood if we are to meet the climate goals. For us, it is hugely inspiring to participate in this pilot project where we have been able to use renewable wood in a design for the production of renewable energy,” says Johan Ahlen, CEO of Moelven Toreboda.

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