Assessing the Performance of a Circular Economy for Wind Energy Technologies: A Summary of Three Analytical Tools

Research output: NRELPoster


A circular economy emphasizes the efficient use of all resources and presents opportunities for addressing series of economic and environmental objectives at local, regional, and national levels. Despite anticipated overall benefits to society, the transition to a circular economy is likely to create regional differences in impacts. As a result, it is important to evaluate the performance and tradeoffs associated with circular economy transitions. This poster summaries three previously published analytical tools that were used to assess the performance of developing a circular economy for wind energy technologies: the Renewable Energy Materials Properties Database (REMPD), a circular economy agent-based model for wind blades (CE Wind ABM), and the Circular Economy Lifecycle Assessment and Visualization (CELAVI) framework. The REMPD is a comprehensive database of materials used in wind and solar plants, including material quantities and physical materials availability. The CE Wind ABM allows us to understand how wind stakeholders' end-of-life behaviors influence wind blade circularity and evaluate the impact of regional variables (e.g., logistics and transportation). And, the CELAVI framework is a modular framework that can be used to evaluate the impacts associated with circular economy transitions. These three analytical tools have been applied to evaluate circular economy transitions for wind energy technologies and they could be expanded to other technologies and products.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the National Academy of Engineering Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 17-20 July 2023, Tokyo, Japan

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-6A20-86358


  • agent-based modeling
  • circular economy
  • circularity
  • discrete event simulation
  • environmental impacts
  • life cycle assessment
  • material intensity
  • network analysis
  • renewable energy
  • renewable energy materials properties database
  • sustainability
  • theory of planned behavior
  • wind energy


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the Performance of a Circular Economy for Wind Energy Technologies: A Summary of Three Analytical Tools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this