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A wind turbine photographed in, Camelford, Cornwall, at sunset.
Ashley Cooper | Corbis | Getty Images

This year’s G-7 summit will be held in the county of Cornwall, a part of southwest England known for its stunning coastline, historic fishing communities and natural beauty.

As well as being a popular destination for tourists — the county’s beaches are thronged with holidaymakers during the summer — Cornwall is also becoming something of a hub for companies working on projects focused on renewables and innovation.  

This week, a number of these developments took significant steps forward. On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson installed the first solar panels at a facility described as the United Kingdom’s “first utility-scale energy park.”

According to energy firm ScottishPower, which is a subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola, 10,000 panels will be installed at the site. The 10 megawatt solar farm will supplement a 20 MW wind farm that’s already in operation and a 1 MW battery storage system.

ScottishPower said the energy park at Carland Cross would be able to generate enough energy “to power the equivalent of 15,000 homes.”

While Johnson is keen to be seen as someone who embraces renewables and prioritizes sustainability, the fact he flew to Cornwall rather than take an alternative form of transport drew stinging criticism from some quarters.

In a response to his detractors that was widely reported by the U.K. media, Johnson is quoted as saying: “If you attack my arrival by plane, I respectfully point out the U.K. is actually in the lead in developing sustainable aviation fuel, and one of the points in the 10 point plan of our green industrial revolution is to get to ‘jet zero’ as well.”

As well as wind and solar projects, Cornwall is also home to a fledgling geothermal energy sector. A company called Geothermal Engineering Limited is working on a number of projects, including a geothermal swimming pool in the town of Penzance.

The business is also developing the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project near the town of Redruth.

Focused on the creation of a geothermal power plant, the United Downs project has been years in the making and is centered around two wells which are 5,275 and 2,393 meters (17,306 and 7,851 feet respectively) deep.

On Monday, a firm called Cornish Lithium announced it had successfully built a geothermal water test site at United Downs. The company’s aim is to trial direct lithium extraction technologies on shallow and deep geothermal waters.

In a statement issued alongside the announcement Cornish Lithium’s CEO, Jeremy Wrathall, said his company’s test site at United Downs provided it with “an opportunity to demonstrate what modern, low-carbon mineral extraction looks like.” The results, he added, would “inform the development” of a larger pilot plant.

As sales of electric cars increase and the planet’s hunger for tech grows, materials such as lithium will be important in the years ahead, a point Cornish Lithium makes on its website.

“As vital components of batteries used for electric vehicles and energy storage,” it says, “the potential opportunity to extract metals such as lithium, tin and cobalt in Cornwall could represent a significant strategic advantage for the United Kingdom.”

While Cornwall is home to a number of land-based energy projects, nearby waters also offer scope for development.

In April, for instance, it was announced that a research project focused on the potential of tidal, wave and floating wind technology had secured support from Marine-i, a program centered around innovation in areas such as marine energy.

The project will be based on the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago located off the Cornish coast, and led by Isles of Scilly Community Venture, Planet A Energy and Waves4Power.

According to Marine-i, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the overarching aim of the Isles of Scilly project is to “build a new databank of wave and tidal resource data.”

This data will include information on a range of metrics including wave height, wind speed and tidal stream velocities.

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Would you rather have one $50k EV or 50 of these $1k Chinese electric cars

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Would you rather have one k EV or 50 of these k Chinese electric cars

Panning for gold in Alibaba’s electric vehicle catalog is bound to find some real doozies, such as this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week. Meet this fun little purple three-wheeled electric car that barely manages to fulfill the requirements of a car.

The “Minitype 3 Seater Passenger Electric Passenger Tricycle” is quite a mouthful of a name, but what’s really important here are the specs.

With a single driver’s seat up front and a narrow bench in back, there is theoretically space for three souls aboard this thing. There’s no steering wheel up front, though. Instead, drivers operate the handlebar that controls the front wheel through a fork instead of traditional automotive linkage to two wheels. Think of it like an enclosed tuk-tuk.

That’s probably fine based on the rather low performance of the machine, reaching just 40 km/h (25 mph) and likely taking its sweet time to do so.

It may not seem spacious, but this is one of those “the seats go aaaalllllllllll the way back” kind of cars. Or at least, the one seat.

I’m not sure what kind of freedom or bonus points that buys you, unless your date is super into trikes. But let’s just say that the car is doing everything it can to be a good wingman for you.

If you can’t pick up chicks in this babe magnet, then you’re obviously doing something wrong.

The coolest part about this thing though is the price. Sure, if you try to buy just a single car then it’s a bit expensive at US $1,200. But if you’ll take 15 units then you can knock that price down to $1,100. An order of up to 49 gets you down to an even $1,000.

So which would you rather have? One $50k electric car or 50 $1k electric cars? Well let me answer that for myself with another question. How easy is it to start a Chinese EV racing league in your backyard track with just one $50k EV?

Ok, jokes aside, please don’t anyone try to actually order one of these. This glorified mobility scooter is likely sans batteries for that price, plus you’ll absolutely spend several times the supposed purchase price just to try and get it shipped out of China.

Then there’s the wrinkle of these not being street-legal anywhere outside of China, and potentially not even there.

So let’s just enjoy them from the safe distance of our computer screens, shall we? In the meantime, I’ll appreciate even more the electric mini-truck I actually DID buy from China.

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GE scraps plans to make giant 18 MW offshore wind turbines

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GE scraps plans to make giant 18 MW offshore wind turbines

GE Vernova is abandoning plans to supersize its offshore wind turbines and will instead focus on rolling out smaller “workhorse” turbines.

In March of last year, GE Vernova CEO Scott Strazik said during a GE Investor Conference that the market was receptive to larger variants of the company’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbines: “Now we are getting a very positive reception from the market with our 17 to 18 MW Haliade-X variant off of what we’re shipping this year.”

However, GE Vernova has decided to shelve that idea for the future. Parent company GE writes in its US Securities and Exchange Commission EX-99 that its Haliade-X platform has included “offerings available from 12 MW to 18 MW with estimated capacity factors ranging from 60% to 64%.” It continued:

One Haliade-X 13 MW turbine can power the equivalent of up to 16,000 European homes.

…We believe the future of our offshore wind business will be the Haliade-X 15.5 MW-250, a workhorse product.

The company made project losses in its offshore wind business last year. It expects margins to remain challenged in 2024 as it executes its Haliade-X backlog, “which will require significant cash use and working capital.” However, GE anticipates working capital dynamics and margins to improve beyond 2024.

The 800 MW Vineyard Wind I project off the Massachusetts coast consists of GE’s 13 MW Haliade-X turbines.

Read more: 5 wind turbines just came online at Massachusetts’ first offshore wind farm


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Jeep’s first EV will land in the US as early as July, electric Wrangler-like Recon to follow

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Jeep's first EV will land in the US as early as July, electric Wrangler-like Recon to follow

The first all-electric Jeep could be delivered to US customers as soon as July. According to new CEO Antonio Filosa, production of Jeep’s first EV, the Wagoneer S SUV, is expected to begin in Q2. Deliveries could happen as soon as the third quarter. Jeep’s CEO also confirmed we may see the electric Wrangler-like Recon launch by the end of the year.

The first Jeep EV could reach US buyers as early as Q3

After slashing prices amid slumping sales Friday (including up to $4K on its best-selling Grand Cherokee), Filosa admitted more needs to be done to fend off incoming competition.

Jeep is facing new rivals like the Rivian R1S, which was the seventh best-selling EV in the US last year. Volkswagen’s off-road Scout brand is also set to launch its first EVs soon.

Jeep’s first EV in the US, the Wagoneer S SUV, is expected to enter production in the second quarter. Filosa said the first deliveries could happen as early as the third quarter. Ahead of its official launch, Jeep is hyping the electric SUV with new teasers.

You can see Jeep’s iconic design evolving as it shifts to electric. Jeep claims the Wagoneer S will be “lightning fast,” packing 600 hp for a 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds.

Jeep-Wagoneer-S-leaked
Jeep Wagoneer S electric SUV teaser (Source: Jeep)

It will be the first EV based on parent company Stellantis’ new STLA Large platform. Jeep aims for around 400 miles range, rivaling Rivian’s R1S.

Jeep also showed the first glimpse of the EV’s interior, which has plenty of buttons and digital screens. You can see a custom driver control center with Jeep’s signature Selec-Terrain toggle.

It also includes a standard dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a premium 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.

Jeep’s electric Wrangler-like Recon launching soon

Filsosa confirmed Jeep’s electric Wrangler-like Recon could launch by the end of the year, although the timing is still unclear.

We’ve already seen a sneak peek of the Recon Moab 4xe after images leaked out of a dealer event in Las Vegas.

Jeep's-electric-Wrangler-like-Recon
Jeep Recon Moab 4xe (source: Jeep Recon Forum)

The Recon will be a “rugged and fully capable electric SUV” inspired by the off-road Jeep Wrangler. Previous head of Jeep North America, Jim Morrison, said the Recon EV “has the capability to cross the mighty Rubicon Trail.” Not only that, it will “reach the end of the trail with enough range to drive back to town and recharge,” Morrison claimed.

Jeep's-electric-Wrangler-like-Recon
2024 electric Jeep Recon (Source: Stellantis)

Filosa confirmed the Recon will also be based on the STLA Large platform, suggesting at least 600 hp is likely.

The platform serves between 85 and 118 kWh battery pack options with up to 500 mi (800 km) range for sedans. It will also come with 400V and 800V options.

Stellantis claims the platform includes “extreme power,” claiming it will “outperform any of the existing Hellcat V-8s.” More powerful models can sprint from 0 to 62 mph (0-100km/hr) in the 2-second range, according to Stellantis.

According to the new UAW agreements, an electric Jeep Wrangler is also expected to launch, but not until 2028. Jeep’s best-selling Grand Cherokee will also get an all-electric option around 2027.

Source: Detroit News

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