Dismantling cost calculation

Reliable analyses of the dismantling costs of wind turbines for each application case

Why a dismantling cost calculation is important

While thousands of new wind turbines are to be built in Germany in the coming years, the industry is at the same time facing a massive wave of dismantling. After all, by 2025 the EEG subsidies will end for around 13,000 turbines after 20 years. After that, continued operation is often no longer profitable.

In addition to economic factors, repowering projects and technical defects that increase with age can also be reasons for decommissioning WTs. The fact is: After 20 to 30 years, the average wind turbine in Germany has reached its end of operation and is then dismantled, regardless of its end-of-life strategy.

Rückbaukostenkalkulation von Windenergieanlagen - Nefino ermittelt die individuellen Kosten des Rückbaus markttypischer WEA.

In order to finance the future dismantling process, provisions are continuously formed during wind turbine operation. Until now, the amount of the dismantling costs, from which the provision sum is derived, was often only roughly estimated and based on little specific calculation bases. Now, with the increasing number of decommissioned wind turbines, the consequence is becoming apparent: in many cases, the dismantling provisions paid in are not sufficient to be able to fully finance dismantling.

Furthermore, a realistic dismantling cost analysis is also of great importance in the planning process as well as for the evaluation of wind energy projects, as the amount of the provision has an impact on the total value of the turbines.

The costs of dismantling a turbine are very individual. In addition to dismantling the actual wind turbine, all ancillary facilities, foundations, access roads, pipelines and other soil sealing must also be completely removed. A corresponding legal basis is the obligation to dismantle wind turbines according to §35 para. 5 BauGB, which is a prerequisite for the approval of wind energy projects in Germany. Numerous other factors such as recycling revenues, crane selection and time required also have a considerable influence on the costs of dismantling and differ from case to case.

As a future-oriented analysis service provider in the field of renewable energies, Nefino carries out, among other things, dismantling cost calculations for onshore wind turbines. We always use current data and include all of the above-mentioned cost factors in the analysis. In addition, we draw on data from dismantling projects that have already been completed, which we have collected in cooperation with established dismantling companies in Germany.

In this way, we guarantee a realistic and meaningful forecast of the expected deconstruction costs. Taking into account the year of construction, material used, turbine height and type, we quickly and reliably calculate the dismantling costs of wind energy projects throughout Germany.

For forward-looking planning through ongoing operation to upcoming dismantling: Nefino supports your wind energy project with reliable dismantling cost analyses for diverse use cases.

We calculate dismantling costs for various applications

Project development

Did you already think about deconstruction during the project planning?

Anyone planning to build wind turbines in Germany must present a conclusive dismantling concept in accordance with the Federal Immission Control Act at the time of application. Wind turbine operators are also obliged to set aside provisions for the dismantling of the turbines over their entire lifetime. In order to be able to set aside the right amount of provisions, a realistic assessment of the future dismantling costs is necessary right at the start of a wind energy project.

As a project developer, you are involved in your wind farm project from the first planning steps through to dismantling. Nefino supports you as required in the creation of a one-off or recurring dismantling concept by reliably calculating subsequent dismantling costs and revenues.

That way, your project is on the right track right from the start.


Maximum planning security during your wind turbine operation through recurring dismantling cost assessment

Provisions for subsequent dismantling must be made on an ongoing basis during the operation of wind turbines. The amount of these provisions is calculated on the basis of the forecast dismantling costs of the wind turbines. However, what was current at the time of commissioning often no longer applies when dismantling affected wind turbines.

Over the operating life of wind turbines, relevant factors such as the costs of the dismantling process and recycling revenues can change significantly. In addition, the requirements for setting up provisions in Germany are not uniform and not very specific. In the state of Lower Saxony, for example, the sum of the dismantling provisions is only linked to the height of the wind turbine tower – regardless of its material.

In some cases, provisions made therefore exceed the actual costs of dismantling. Far more often, however, the once calculated dismantling costs are even exceeded. Both mean planning uncertainty for operators and project planners. A meaningful dismantling cost analysis based on current and comprehensive data is therefore already worthwhile during the operation of wind turbines. For this reason, it is common in larger wind energy projects that the responsible approval authorities and, especially in investment companies, the respective auditors demand a recurring evaluation of the dismantling provisions from the outset.

Regardless of the project size, operating time and materials used: Nefino quickly and reliably calculates dismantling costs for every type of wind turbine.

Due Diligence

You are planning the purchase of a portfolio – We support your due diligence with reliable deconstruction cost calculation

If you are planning to buy an existing wind farm, you will carefully check all details of your investment during due diligence. What is often forgotten: Also in this phase, the determination of later dismantling costs is essential for the valuation of your entire project.

If a wind farm changes hands, the buyer takes over not only the individual wind turbines but also the reserves paid in to date to cover later dismantling costs. The larger the sum of the reserves formed so far, the more valuable the entire wind farm is. If insufficient reserves have been set aside for dismantling, this will depress the purchase price of the wind farm. A dismantling cost analysis should therefore be part of your due diligence process.

Nefino provides you with a reliable overview of the dismantling costs of your investment.


Your wind turbine is about to come to the end of its service life: How high will the dismantling costs be?

Whether after the expiry of the EEG subsidy or due to ageing technology, every wind turbine will come to the end of its service life at some point.

If you are the owner of affected wind turbines, an exact cost calculation for dismantling is crucial. This is because reserves for dismantling were often set up based on outdated or less specific data as a basis for calculation. In addition, the individuality of the turbine was usually not taken into account in detail in previous dismantling cost calculations. Different types of plants, for example with different drive concepts and construction types, lead to divergent material quantities. Thus, the type and costs of dismantling different plants vary greatly. It is possible that the dismantling of your wind turbines will be less cost-intensive overall than expected, for example due to good recycling revenues. However, the actual dismantling costs are often higher than was assumed during the operation of the turbines. At Nefino, we consider each wind turbine individually when calculating dismantling costs and always use current cost and revenue rates. In this way, we achieve realistic and reliable results.

Gain clarity about the amount of your dismantling costs.

As a competent analysis service provider, Nefino determines the actual dismantling costs of your wind turbines for you – quickly, meaningfully and straightforwardly.

Our approach

Typical wind turbines on the market consist of a variety of different materials. While concrete and steel are the main components for the foundation and tower of a wind turbine, its rotor blades are mainly made of glass or carbon fibre reinforced plastics. The electrical components inside, such as the generator, also contain a high proportion of copper, as does the cabling. Lubricants as well as cooling and hydraulic fluids also make up an important part of the composition of wind turbines.

The dismantling process is as complex as the turbines themselves. At the end of their service life, wind turbines are usually dismantled into their components and recycled. Great emphasis is placed on the proper separation of materials.

It must be taken into account that the different turbine types and construction types, such as the tower and the foundation, of the wind turbine have a direct impact on the effort and costs of dismantling. A concrete tower, for example, is associated with an enormous dismantling process, which is reflected in high dismantling costs. Tubular steel and lattice towers, on the other hand, promise a lower dismantling process and additionally high recycling revenues on the secondary raw materials market.

Nefino calculates dismantling costs for all common wind turbine types. To calculate your dismantling costs, we divide the dismantling process into its essential components and consider each aspect in its full scope.

WEA-specific material matrices

In order to determine the individual dismantling costs of each wind turbine type, precise knowledge of the material composition of the WTGs concerned is crucial.
That is why we at Nefino have built up a comprehensive database in which the specific construction materials of each turbine are recorded. Thanks to our close cooperation with experienced dismantling companies from all over Germany, our database is as practical and realistic as possible.

We have access to specific material matrices for every common wind turbine and have derived the dismantling effort in cooperation with dismantling companies. Our database lists all current wind turbine models as well as all older models that are no longer being built.

Current disposal costs and recycling revenues

Essential components of wind turbines can be recycled very well and can be sold on the secondary raw materials market after they have been separated. These mainly include the metals used in the turbines, such as steel, aluminium, copper, lead and zinc, as well as the rare earths partly contained in the generator.

We include all recycling revenues in the cost calculation and always keep an eye on current price developments. Nefino’s dismantling cost analysis provides you with an up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of the dismantling costs of your wind energy project.

Optimum selection of cranes

When dismantling wind turbines, the right choice of crane is of decisive importance. The larger and stronger the crane needed to dismantle the rotor blades and nacelle, the higher the crane costs. The weight of the nacelle, which is the heaviest load to be lifted on wind turbines, is decisive. For your dismantling project, it is therefore important to select the crane that is needed to carry the nacelle weight of your wind turbine – but nothing more for cost reasons.

Nefino makes the optimal crane selection for you in every dismantling cost analysis. We know the nacelle weights of all typical wind turbines on the market and have also recorded the maximum height and load capacity of a large number of cranes. This means we always find the most cost-efficient crane, saving you money and effort.

Foundation dismantling

In addition to the tower, nacelle and rotor blades of a wind turbine, the foundation must also be partially or completely removed during its dismantling. Foundation removal is one of the most cost-intensive steps in the dismantling process and is therefore particularly important for calculating the dismantling costs of your turbine. In order to be able to provide the most precise cost forecasts possible, we have collected and evaluated data from a large number of completed dismantling processes in close cooperation with dismantling companies.

Whether flat or pile foundations, we can calculate the costs of foundation dismantling and reliably include these in the overall cost calculation for the dismantling of your wind turbine. Corresponding recycling revenues and disposal fees are of course included and are always based on the current price situation.

Costs of dismantling the ancillary facilities, cabling and access road

In Germany, the approval for the construction of wind turbines is already linked to a corresponding obligation to dismantle the site. This is based on § 35 para. 5 p. 2 BauGB and states that, in addition to the actual wind turbine, all soil sealing associated with the project must also be removed after it has ceased to be used.

When calculating your dismantling costs, we think beyond the individual turbine and also include the dismantling of all ancillary facilities, inner-park cabling and access roads in our calculation. In doing so, we draw on data from deconstruction projects that have already been completed and can thus provide particularly realistic cost forecasts.

Costs of the dismantling team

When analysing your dismantling costs, we take into account not only all material costs but also all personnel costs. Based on our data from completed dismantling projects, we know the time and personnel required for each step in the dismantling of typical wind turbines.

We have all cost factors in view and thus reliably support you until the successful dismantling of your wind energy project.

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