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Stockholm-headquartered renewable energy developer OX2 has signed letters of intent with Swedish edible seaweed companies Nordic SeaFarm and KOBB to explore the possibility of seaweed farming at one of OX2’s offshore wind farms.

Seaweed and offshore wind

OX2’s Galatea-Galene huge 1.7 gigawatt offshore wind farm will be sited off Halland, a county on the western coast of Sweden. It’s named after two Greek sea nymphs, Galatea and Galene, and consists of two sub-areas around 15.5 miles (25 km) outside the cities of Falkenberg and Varberg.

Galatea-Galene is expected to consist of up to 101 wind turbines and generate around 6 to 7 terawatt-hours of clean electricity per year. That’s the equivalent of the average annual electricity consumption of more than 1.2 million Swedish households. (There are 4.8 million households in Sweden, for perspective.)

This offshore wind farm will be developed in a single phase. Construction is expected to commence in 2028 and enter into commercial operation in 2030.

Simon Johansson, CEO of Nordic SeaFarm, and Benjamin Ajo, chairman of the board of KOBB, said in a joint statement [via Offshorewind.biz]:

We see great opportunities, in collaboration with both the fishing industry and the wind power industry, to both maintain and create new jobs when we investigate the possibilities of creating a new industry in Sweden in the form of large-scale aquaculture.

Developing the national food supply while [offshore wind] farms contribute to stopping the negative effects of climate change are more positive aspects.

All seaweed needs to grow is saltwater and sunlight. It’s a superfood that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, and particularly high in iodine, so it’s very nutritious. (Note that crispy seaweed in Chinese restaurants is actually cabbage.)

It can be used to wrap sushi, in soups and salads, in snacks and instant noodles, and as livestock food.

Seaweed also provides a source of food for marine life. In April, Electrek reported that a groundbreaking study found that the first US offshore wind farm has had no negative effect on fish and has even proven to be beneficial.

Here’s a short video from Nordic SeaFarm that shows how the company grows and harvests seaweed for consumption:

Electrek’s Take

Pairing seaweed farms and offshore wind farms seems like an inspired idea.

Seaweed’s ability to absorb toxins and other contaminants from the sea make it environmentally friendly, but that’s not what humans want to consume. That’s where seaweed growers come in: they test the seaweed for safety and quality.

Any multipurpose sustainable use of an offshore wind farm, particularly one that provides both clean energy and nutritious food that doesn’t require either fertilizer or fresh water to grow, is a win. It’s also another example of innovation that the clean energy revolution is bringing about in the climate change fight.

Read more: This new innovation boosts wind farm energy output yet costs nothing


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Quick Charge Podcast: November 30, 2022

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Quick Charge Podcast: November 30, 2022

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from Electrek. Quick Charge is available now on Apple PodcastsSpotifyTuneIn and our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

New episodes of Quick Charge are recorded Monday through Thursday and again on Saturday. Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast player to guarantee new episodes are delivered as soon as they’re available.

Stories we discuss in this episode (with links):

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Drop us a line at tips@electrek.co. You can also rate us in Apple Podcasts or recommend us in Overcast to help more people discover the show!

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Hitachi Energy debuts wireless grid tech that prevents wildfires

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Hitachi Energy debuts wireless grid tech that prevents wildfires

Hitachi Energy just launched wireless Spark Prevention Unit indicators that help prevent wildfires by enabling remote monitoring.

According to the US Department of Energy, approximately 10% of wildfire ignitions are sparked by faults on electrical infrastructure or electric equipment failure. Hitachi Energy’s new Wireless SPU Indicators allow utilities to monitor the grid remotely, in real time, with automated visual inspection rounds.

The SPU monitors the current and thermal load of surge arresters – which protect equipment from surges in the power system – installed in wildfire risk areas.

If there’s a thermal overload in the grid, the SPU interrupts the current flow and disconnects the surge arrester, thus preventing any arcing – which is when a circuit becomes overloaded and overheats – sparking, or ejection of hot particles that could potentially start a wildfire.

Hitachi Energy’s new Wireless SPU Indicator

A visual indicator on the SPU lets the utility field crew know that it needs to be replaced. Hundreds of thousands of SPUs installed in some of the world’s most wildfire-prone areas, such as in the United States and Australia, have had a real impact in preventing wildfires. Being able to monitor them remotely is only going to improve wildfire prevention.

Read more: How the US can achieve resilient power grids and support EV deployment

Photo: Pok Rie on Pexels.com


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Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.


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Drivers are increasingly ditching Toyota and Honda gas cars in favor of EVs

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Drivers are increasingly ditching Toyota and Honda gas cars in favor of EVs

The electric vehicle rollout is gaining momentum as new car shoppers are increasingly switching to EVs, even if their preferred brand is not currently offering any. Ford, GM, and Hyundai’s new electric vehicles are winning over Toyota and Honda gas-car buyers, while Tesla continues establishing itself as a top automaker.

Yesterday we reported on the recent S&P Global Mobility data suggesting new electric vehicles are taking market share from Tesla.

And that is true, but it’s also misleading. Tesla was a pioneer in the US electric vehicle market, controlling nearly 100% at one point. As automakers race to fill the expanding pool of drivers looking to switch to electric vehicles, a loss in market share is inevitable.

The latest data shows Tesla still controls 65% of the market through the first nine months of 2022. Of the 525,000 new electric vehicles registered in the United States this year, almost 340,000 were Tesla models.

Tesla’s growth has helped the United States cross 6% EV market share this past quarter, up from just 2.2% in 2021, as new car buyers are increasingly switching from gas to zero-emission electric vehicles.

However, Tesla is one of many companies with their sights on the US EV market now. Ford, GM, Hyundai, and others have successfully introduced their own electric models that are enticing buyers to convert.

Meanwhile, those who have been slow to introduce fully electric options, like Toyota and Honda, are losing faithful buyers as drivers are embracing pure EVs over their gas-powered counterparts.

electric-vehicles-gas-cars
Chevy Bolt EUV Source: Chevrolet

Electric vehicles are winning over traditional gas buyers

The S&P Global Mobility data shows a glaring consumer preference change trending toward electric vehicles.

Although this is good news for those early to introduce electric vehicles, it’s costing two of the largest companies on some of their most popular models. Take a look at which electric vehicles customers are trading their gas cars in for.

Electric Vehicles conquesting gas-powered cars

Do you see a trend here? Tesla, Ford, Chevrolet (GM), and Hyundai have all aggressively invested resources toward advancing fully electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the brands customers are switching from have been slow to make the transition. Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda are seeing their customers leave to test other brands that have successfully introduced pure EV models.

Ford announced Wednesday it produced its 150,000th Mustang Mach-E as it looks to achieve a 2 million EV run rate by 2026. Other automakers are achieving similar milestones as they look to close the gap Tesla has established. Most importantly, the EV competition is doing what it was designed to do – convert drivers to zero-emission, fully electric vehicles.

Electrek’s Take

Drivers are increasingly trading in their top-selling gas-powered vehicles for new advanced EV models. Although as consumer preference continues trending toward electric vehicles, these models are bound to lose some faithful buyers, the data reveal an important point – car buyers are ready and willing to make the switch even if their favorite brands (Toyota, Honda) are not quite there yet.

Which electric vehicle will you purchase next?

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