In the lush forests of Sweden, a groundbreaking project is underway. Modvion, an innovative startup based in Scandinavia, is currently constructing the world’s tallest wooden wind turbine, set to be completed this year. This towering structure, standing at an impressive 105 meters, is being built for Varberg Energi, a local energy utility company, near the charming town of Skara.

The wooden tower will host a 2-megawatt turbine from Danish wind giant Vestas, capable of powering around 500 homes. The use of wood for wind turbines is an ingenious approach, offering numerous advantages in terms of strength, sustainability, and environmental impact.

30m tower on Björkö. (Image: Modvion)

The Strength of Wood

The wooden wind turbine towers are crafted using laminated veneer lumber, a material created by bonding multiple layers of wood together. Surprisingly, this innovative material possesses a higher strength-to-weight ratio than steel, making it an ideal choice for constructing tall wind turbines.

Furthermore, wood’s natural resilience enables the building of taller towers at a lower cost, which improves the efficiency of wind power generation. The winds are stronger and more stable at greater heights, allowing for increased energy production.

30m tower sections. (Image: Modvion)

Embracing Sustainability

Sustainability is a primary focus in today’s global efforts to combat climate change, and the use of wood in wind turbines aligns perfectly with these goals. Steel production is a significant contributor to approximately 8% of global CO2 emissions, making wooden wind turbines a more environmentally friendly alternative.

Modvion proudly claims that their wooden towers are “carbon negative,” meaning they sequester more CO2 than is emitted during their production. Additionally, when these towers reach the end of their 25-30 year lifespan, they can be reused as a building material, making them a truly sustainable resource.

Modules on a trailer. (Image: Modvion)

A Bright Future with collaborative efforts

Modvion’s progress in building the 105-meter wooden wind turbine is just the beginning. Previously, the company successfully completed a 30-meter prototype on the Swedish island of Björkö. Encouraged by these achievements, the company is already working on two other projects, aiming to construct larger wind turbines with wooden towers in late 2024 or early 2025. The potential for wooden wind turbines to revolutionize the industry is evident.

The development of these pioneering wooden wind turbines has garnered widespread support and interest. The Swedish Energy Agency, the Västra Götaland region, and the EU program Horizon 2020 EIC Accelerator have collectively financed the project.

Moreover, Modvion has partnered with Stora Enso, one of the world’s largest private forest owners, for their expertise in sustainable forestry practices. Stora Enso has also collaborated with German startup Voodin Blade Technology to manufacture eco-friendly wooden wind turbine blades.

Otto Lundman, Modvion’s CEO. (Image: Modvion)

The world’s tallest wooden wind turbine being built by Modvion in Sweden is a testament to human ingenuity and our commitment to sustainability. As wind energy continues to grow as a clean and renewable energy source, innovative approaches like wooden wind turbine towers have the potential to reshape the industry.

With the ability to produce taller, stronger, and more sustainable wind turbines, we are making great strides toward a greener and cleaner future.

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