Renewable energies, for example wind energy, are regarded as sustainable energies. A conference at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study, HWK) in June, 2012, raised the question whether this is really the case: “Sustainable Material Life Cycles – Is Wind Energy Really Sustainable?”. The conference addressed all materials involved throughout a full life cycle of a wind turbine.
Stimulating presentations and lively discussions characterized all sessions. With wind energy being a very young field, a lot of research still needs to be done, especially on all aspects of sustainability. Two areas were identified as especially relevant: offshore wind park maintenance and material efficiency. With this volume, we hope to stimulate more interdisciplinary discussions and related research.