Cornwall, home of G-7 climate-themed summit, embraces push towards renewable energy

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This year’s G-7 summit will be held in Cornwall County, 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 teem with holidaymakers during the summer – Cornwall is also becoming a kind of hub for companies working on projects focused on renewable energy and innovation.

This week, several of these developments have taken significant steps forward. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday installed the first solar panels in a facility described as “the UK’s first large-scale energy park”.

According to the energy company ScottishPower, a subsidiary of Spain’s Iberdrola, 10,000 panels will be installed on the site. The 10 megawatt solar farm will complement a 20 MW wind farm already in service and a 1 MW battery storage system.

ScottishPower said the Carland Cross energy park would be capable of generating 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 that he flew to Cornwall rather than take some other form of transport has drawn sharp criticism from the share of some.

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In a response to his detractors which was widely reported by the UK media, Johnson is said to have said: ‘If you attack my arrival by plane, I respectfully point out that the UK is actually leading the development of sustainable aviation fuel. , and one of the points of the 10-point plan of our green industrial revolution is also to reach the “zero jet”.

In addition to wind and solar projects, Cornwall is also home to a nascent geothermal energy sector. A company called Geothermal Engineering Limited is working on a number of projects, including a geothermal pool in the town of Penzance.

The company 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 in the works for years and is built around two wells 5,275 and 2,393 meters (17,306 and 7,851 feet respectively) deep.

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On Monday, a company called Cornish Lithium announced that it has successfully constructed a geothermal water test site at United Downs. The company’s goal is to test direct lithium mining technologies in shallow and deep geothermal waters.

In a statement released alongside the announcement, Cornish Lithium CEO Jeremy Wrathall said his company’s test site at United Downs offered him “an opportunity to demonstrate what modern low-cost mining looks like. carbon content “. The results, he added, “will inform the development” of a larger pilot plant.

As electric car sales increase and the planet’s thirst for technology increases, materials like lithium will be important in the years to come, as Cornish Lithium points out on its website.

“As essential components of batteries used for electric vehicles and energy storage,” he says, “the potential opportunity to mine metals such as lithium, tin and cobalt in Cornwall could represent an important strategic advantage for the United Kingdom “.

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While Cornwall is home to a number of onshore energy projects, the surrounding waters also offer development opportunities.

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

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

According to Marine-i, which is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the main objective of the Isles of Scilly project is to “build a new data bank on waves and tides”.

This data will include information on a range of parameters, including wave height, wind speed and tidal current speed.

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