Cement giant LafargeHolcim is teaming up with GE’s renewables unit on wind turbine recycling
General Electric’s renewables unit and LafargeHolcim, the world’s biggest cement manufacturer, have struck a deal to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades.
A memorandum of understanding will see the companies focus on exploring “circular economy solutions.” Business practices connected to the notion of a circular economy have gained traction in recent years, with many companies around the world looking to operate in a way which minimizes waste.
In a statement Thursday, the firms added they were looking into “new ways of recycling wind blades, including as a construction material to build new wind farms.”
The plans announced this week build on an already existing relationship between the two companies. Last June, GE Renewable Energy said it was going to partner with LafargeHolcim and another firm, COBOD International, to develop wind turbines that use 3D-printed concrete bases.
The issue of what to do with wind turbine blades when they’re no longer needed is a headache for the industry. This is because the composite materials used in their production can be difficult to recycle, with many blades ending up as landfill when their service life ends.
As governments around the world attempt to ramp up their renewable energy capacity, the number of wind turbines on the planet only looks set to grow. This will in turn increase pressure on the sector to find sustainable solutions to the disposal of blades.
Over the last few years, major players in wind energy have announced plans to try to tackle the problem. Just last week Denmark’s Orsted said it would “reuse, recycle, or recover” all turbine blades in its worldwide portfolio of wind farms once they’re decommissioned.
In April, it was announced that a collaboration between academia and industry would focus on the recycling of glass fiber products, a move that could eventually help to reduce the waste produced by wind turbine blades.
Last December, GE Renewable Energy and Veolia North America signed a “multi-year agreement” to recycle blades removed from onshore wind turbines in the United States. And in January 2020, wind energy giant Vestas said it was aiming to produce “zero-waste” turbines by the year 2040.
Battery powered trailer boost range, efficiency — now for $120,000 less
The RA electric trailer from Range Energy promises to turn your diesel truck into a hybrid or extend the range of your electric semi – and now it qualifies for a $120,000 voucher in California.
California’s Clean Off-Road Equipment (CORE) Voucher Project aims to make it easier for commercial fleets to decarbonize. Last July, Range became the first trailer electrification platform to be accepted into CORE with an $80,000 rebate.
This year, Range Energy bumped its largest battery offering to 300 kWh. The state, in turn, showed its confidence in the electric trailer concept by bumping that rebate a full 50%.
“Becoming eligible for CORE proved that trailers truly matter in the transition to electric, and that CARB recognizes the meaningful impact electric-powered trailers can have on reducing the emissions of the commercial trucking sector,” said Ali Javidan, founder and CEO of Range. “Increasing our trailer platform’s incentive value by $40,000 further solidifies that position and makes Range a realistic near-term solution for fleet owners and operators.”
The company claims the Range Energy electric trailers can double a trucks’ fuel economy and slash its NOx emissions by as much as 67%. When we last covered Range, its electric trailer system had just undergone independent testing that found a 36% real-world improvement on a 25-mile urban/high loop at 60 mph top speeds with a 59,000 lb. gross vehicle weight (well below the 80,000 lb. maximum).
It’s great to see concepts like this electric trailer come into play with some government dollars behind them. If they work (and if their weight penalties don’t hurt shippers’ profit margins), they’ll make it real easy for truck fleets to dip their toes into the waters of electrification while hydrogen and batteries battle it out for ultimate supremacy.
I’m betting batteries, for what it’s worth – but Range Energy customers will be able to put their electric trailers to work behind either!
Quick Charge Podcast: February 26, 2024
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You won’t believe who bought almost $1 million worth of Tesla Roadsters
In a surprising turn of events, we now learn that billionaire Dan O’Dowd bought the 3 Tesla Roadsters that were lost in a Chinese port for over a decade.
Last year, we reported on a strange story of three brand-new Tesla Roadsters that were found inside a shipping container in China.
It appears that a Chinese company bought the Roadster back in 2011 with the hope of reverse-engineering them. However, the shipment was blocked by customs in China and the vehicles never made it to the company.
Last year, someone finally was able to get them and ship them to the US.
Tesla ever only produced just over 2,000 original Roadsters between 2008 and 2011, making them rare in the first place.
On top of the usual unit you lose to accidents and time, Roadsters had a few bad luck incidents, including losing dozens of units to two separate fires at Gruber Motors, which specializes in fixing first-generation Tesla Roadsters.
It makes the remaining ones more valuable, and ironically, Gruber was leading the auction for the lost Roadsters.
At one point, the company claimed that the three Roadsters together would go for over $1 million.
Almost a year later, we now know who bought them.
Dan of the popular YouTube channel What’s Inside got an exclusive look at the Roadsters – giving us a great look at this little piece of EV history:
Dan revealed Dan O’Dowd, the billionaire founder of Green Hills Software, is the new owner of the Roadster.
To Tesla fans, O’Dowd is better known as the guy running the Dawn Project, which is basically a campaign against Tesla’s Full Self-Driving effort.
It could be surprising, considering how consistently O’Dowd has been attacking Tesla and Elon Musk, but he is apparently a fan of Tesla vehicles other than its Autopilot and FSD Beta, which the Roadster is not equipped with anyway.
He already owns a couple of Roadsters, according to What’s Inside’s video.
Now, if you are familiar with What’s Inside, you know that they tend to cut through things to find out what’s inside them, but obviously, Dan won’t be doing that with these Roadsters. The video is still a great look at what could be some of the best-preserved Roadsters on the planet.
Also, we now learn how much O’Dowd paid for the Roadsters.
Carl Medlock of Medlock and Sons, an independent Tesla repair shop, helped O’Dowd in the purchase and confirmed that the billionaire paid $800,000 for the three Roadsters.
That’s well below the up to $2 million offers that Gruber teased. In fact, Medlock claims that the only other big serious offer was for $500,000.
Regardless, at an average of over $250,000 per Roadster, it makes them some of the most valuable Roadsters to date.
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