EuCIA was delighted to meet with MAXblade project partner University of Edinburgh on 27th March to exchange views on the circularity of composite materials. The development of a circular economy roadmap for composite tidal blades is a key task for the project’s Work Package 5, where EuCIA is contributing its knowledge on life cycle assessment (LCA) of composites.

The meeting discussed the cradle-to-gate LCA approach and it was an opportunity to present solutions for end-of-use composites, such as the existing route of recycling into cement. The team also explored options for the design of more sustainable and efficient tidal blades in the future.

EuCIA is proud to bring its composites expertise to this exciting collaboration which aims to upscale this emerging renewable energy whilst also lowering the cost of tidal energy. The tidal sector has the potential to make significant contributions towards Europe’s energy systems, energy security and industrial development. European ocean energy could generate 100 GW of capacity by 2050.

Maximising tidal energy generation

MAXblade (Maximising tidal energy generation through Blade Scaling and Advanced Digital Engineering) is aiming to drive down tidal energy costs. It plans to deliver an increase in rotor diameter from 20 m to 26 m, hugely improving tidal energy efficiencies.

The project coordinator is tidal turbine developer Orbital Marine Power (UK). The partners are EuCIA, Marasoft (Netherlands), TECNALIA (Spain), University of Edinburgh (UK), European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC, UK), ENGIE Laborelec (Belgium), and TechnipFMC (UK).

The project has six objectives:

  • Deliver reliable, cost optimised and customisable 26 m tidal turbine rotor to maximise project yield;
  • Develop and implement advanced tidal blade structural condition monitoring to increase turbine availability;
  • Deliver reliable control inputs and optimal blade/controller designs to maximise array level power performance;
  • Enable circularity in tidal turbine blades including recyclable thermoplastic manufacturing;
  • Secure European leadership of tidal turbine composite blade manufacturing with competitive 320 tidal blade per annum capacity by 2030;
  • Advance integrated digital maintenance management of tidal arrays.

MAXBlade has received funding from the EU’s Horizon Europe programme and UKRI.


EuCIA’s Managing Director Raphaël Pleynet with Kris Grattan, Henry Jeffrey and Donald Noble of the University of Edinburgh.

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