An efficient management of natural resources demands a change in the economic model in which we live. The circular economy emerges as a bet on the general reduction in the consumption of natural resources and also represents an opportunity for the development of new businesses. For us, circular economy is the right way forward, and at EDP we are implementing this vision in all our business units.
In order to progress in the internalization of the circular economy concept, EDP has been working on solutions so that its main residual materials can be used as feedstock for another industry.
Reuse and recycle wind turbines
Wind technology is constantly evolving. For this reason, turbines that were built a few years ago with specific technologies and components are now replaced with larger, different and more efficient ones.
For example, in 2019, due to the re-powering of a wind farm in Spain (Zas), 80 turbines were dismantled, 22 of which were sold and the rest delivered to an authorized manager for its recovery. In addition, 30 shovels, 30 powertrains and many other components were kept for future own use in parks with the same technology.
Goodbye mineral oils. Welcome, vegetable oils.
In the distribution networks, promotion has been made to replace mineral oils with vegetable oils of low toxicity level, better biodegradation capacity, and which yield satisfactory results in mitigating the environmental impact.
Reusing the ashes from thermal power plants
At the Sines Thermal Power Plant, we implemented a technology that prevents ashes from spreading through the atmosphere and causing phenomena such as acid rain. This involves installing slabs in the smoke circuit, which attract the ashes and send them to storage silos.
Then, instead of simply dumping them on landfills, these ashes are reused, filling 15 to 20 trucks of ash daily, for the construction area. For instance, football stadiums in Portugal, made for the Euro 2004, were built with ash from this plant. Discover this whole process in our story “Coal-fired power plants: a struggle for balance.”
In June 2019, EDP and Eneva delivered the first road constructed in collaboration in the Brazilian state of Ceará, which reuses coal ash for the paving. These residues are by-products of the electric power generation of the Pecém Thermoelectric Complex, in Ceará, comprising of UTE Pecém I (under the management of EDP Brasil) and UTE Pecém II (managed by Eneva).
Learn more about this project.
Reuse and recycle the waste
In the activities of construction, operation and facility maintenance, reusing of is preferred and, at the time of disposal, recycling is always sought as a first solution. In addition, contracts are established with licensed operators who forward the waste to the preferred destination for valuation.
An efficient management of resources goes beyond the adequate elimination of waste and its incorporation in the economic circuit, promoting its circularity, whenever possible.
Give used batteries a second life
From used car modules, EDP Inovação, together with Labelec, managed to build a battery with a 2nd life. In the future, these batteries may be used in some identical applications, as if they were new ones.
Thermoelectric plants as authentic "plaster factory"
A good example of the reuse of plaster is the Sines Power Station. In this plant, we reuse this waste, which would otherwise be deposited in landfills. In 2017, for a coal consumption of 3.6 million tons, 140 thousand tons of gypsum were produced, later sold on the national and international market.