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World’s most powerful tidal turbine gets millions in funding round

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An innovative form of ocean energy generation is set to go into commercial production after a crowdfunding round raised £7 million ($8.97 million).

Orbital Marine Power, a Scottish engineering company, will use the money to construct a production model of its Orbital O2 2MW turbine, which it claims will be the “most powerful tidal generating platform in the world” when launched.

In a statement Thursday, it described the unit as a floating turbine that “can be towed, installed and easily maintained.” It is made up of a 73-meter long “superstructure” that supports two 1 megawatt (MW) turbines on each side.

The scheme has already locked in several supporting grants in addition to equity funding, with some coming from the Scottish government.

Orbital Marine Power’s CEO, Andrew Scott, said that the firm was “delighted” with the funding result.

“It’s a terrific endorsement of our technology and a clear signal that the U.K. public is hugely supportive of seeing tidal energy brought into the domestic and global energy mixes,” Scott added.

“The whole team at Orbital Marine are excited to be moving forwards with this flagship project and deliver the first O2 unit for costs similar to offshore wind and so provide the basis for a new and sustainable industry.”

Orbital Marine Power said it was planning to build the turbine over the next 12 months. It will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre, in Orkney, next year.

The last few months have seen Orbital Marine Power announce a number of agreements relating to its newest turbine.

Towards the end of 2018, the company revealed it had signed an agreement to demonstrate its floating tidal technology at the Morlais Tidal Energy Project at Anglesey, an island off the coast of Wales.

In 2016, the business launched its SR2000 turbine, which generated more than 3 gigawatt hours of electricity during its initial 12-month test program.

The European Commission, the legislative arm of the EU, has described “ocean energy” as being both abundant and renewable. It’s estimated that ocean energy could potentially contribute around 10 percent of the European Union’s power demand by 2050, according to the Commission.

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Theresa May coup – calls for UK prime minister to resign

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As if the ultimate direction of Brexit was not enough for Brits to contend with, now speculation is mounting that British Prime Minister Theresa May could resign — throwing the whole process into further doubt.

May met her closest ministers Monday morning and is expected to update the House of Commons on her Brexit strategy in the afternoon, amid continuing turbulence and confusion over the U.K’s departure.

There have been reports in various U.K. media outlets that May is facing another mutiny within her own party.

On Sunday, May met with influential Brexiteers in her Conservative Party and, according to some reports, gave her word that she would give a date for her resignation in return for their support in a third possible vote on her Brexit deal, formally known as the “Withdrawal Agreement.” Whether a third vote will even take place this week remains up in the air as it’s doubtful that there’s enough support to pass the deal.

Downing Street refused to comment on speculation over May’s political future although pressure is rising on her both inside euroskeptic circles and outside. The widely-read tabloid newspaper The Sun, which has previously supported May, used its front page on Monday to urge the prime minister to quit, with the headline “Time’s Up, Theresa.”

The paper said while she had “shown courage” in office, she was facing “fresh pressure” and that “the PM is being urged to vow she’ll resign in a last-ditch bid to convince Brexiteers they should back her deal in the Commons this week.”

Sun Tweet:

Several senior ministers said Monday they do not want May to resign, casting doubts over the rumored coup. Nonetheless, her position remains “fragile,” according to Constantine Fraser, a European political research analyst at TS Lombard.

“Despite her Cabinet seemingly abandoning an attempt at a coup over the weekend, May’s position is still extremely fragile,” he said in comments emailed to CNBC.

“For now, what she has in her favor is that time is short, there is little agreement in the (Conservative) party as to who should replace her, and it not obvious what difference a change of prime minister would make to the country’s immediate predicament. For her rivals, she also makes a convenient scapegoat for the failings of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

Fraser added however that “it looks a lot like her days will be numbered” as soon as the U.K. has some breathing space. Some reports suggest that David Lidington, the prime minister’s deputy, could be in the running for the leadership if May is forced out. Nonetheless, it’s likely to turn into a battle between pro-Remain and pro-Brexit politicians within the Conservative Party.

J.P. Morgan economist Malcolm Barr said Monday that it’s uncertain who could fill May’s shoes.

“Although the weekend’s press contained much reporting of Cabinet plots to remove her, the choice of successor is incredibly divisive, and it is difficult to establish any kind of consensus among Conservative MPs about how to proceed,” he said in a note.



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Super Bowl winner Rob Gronkowski retires from the NFL

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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement Sunday, bringing to an end an impressive and dominant nine season career, which included three Super Bowl wins.

“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today,” Gronkowski said on Instagram.

Quarterback and Patriots teammate Tom Brady led the tributes to his now former colleague by commenting on the post “Love u man!! The(Gronk)!! Couldn’t be a better person or teammate!!!!”

Gronkowski has often hinted at what life might be like for him after his pro-football career came to an end, making no secret of his desire to start acting in Hollywood.

Another potential avenue would be for the 29-year-old to step into the wresting ring with World Wresting Entertainment (WWE), after a successful cameo at Wrestlemania in 2017.

Despite bringing his latest $54 million NFL contract to an end, Gronkowski revealed to CNBC’s Make It series earlier this year that when it comes to his finances he just likes to “keep it simple.”

Almost all of his salary has been kept in the bank, with the man known as “Gronk” choosing to live mostly off his endorsements, which include breakfast cereal Cheerios, laundry detergent Tide and Monster energy drink.

He also led the league in terms of playing incentives for his tight end position. His potential performance based add-ons on top of his $8 million a year basic salary totaled $11.5 million for hitting particular catching, receiving yards and touchdown targets for 2018.

Gronkowski ends his career having caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 games from 2010-18. Despite playing just nine seasons, he ranks ninth in NFL history among tight ends in receiving yards and tied for third in receiving touchdowns.

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Brexit? Here are the key upcoming dates in the UK’s exit

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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in Parliament, following the vote on Brexit in London, Britain, March 13, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video.

Reuters TV via REUTERS

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in Parliament, following the vote on Brexit in London, Britain, March 13, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video.

The U.K. is no longer expected to leave the EU on Friday, as British lawmakers remain at odds over how to leave the bloc.

So when will Brexit happen? Here are the next important dates in the U.K.’s process of withdrawing from the EU.

Monday, March 25

U.K. lawmakers are due to debate the next steps. Given the four month-long impasse in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May has asked the EU for more time to try to reach a consensus.

Parliamentarians remain divided about Brexit. May believes her deal with the EU is the best way to deliver Brexit, but certain politicians strongly object on one of the policies of her deal — the Irish backstop. This is an insurance policy that looks to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the U.K.) and the Republic of Ireland (which will remain an EU country), in case the U.K. and the EU do not strike a trade agreement.

In order to decide what happens next, U.K. lawmakers will discuss plans for “indicative votes” on Monday afternoon, and then are likely to vote late in the evening on whether these will take place on Wednesday this week. If approved, it would allow lawmakers to take control of parliamentary business and potentially hold votes that test out different Brexit options, undermining May’s control of the situation.

Tuesday, March 26

U.K. lawmakers could have a third vote on May’s deal — formally called the withdrawal agreement.

The EU may have given the U.K. an extension may it came with some caveats. If British MPs approves the agreement this week, then Brexit will be extended until May 22. If it’s rejected again, the U.K. has until April 12 to leave the EU.

Friday, March 29

U.K. law is still ready for a departure this Friday. So the House of Commons needs to decide until when it’s going to extend its EU membership and then update the current law.

Friday, April 12

If U.K. lawmakers fail to reach a compromise then this will be the day of a no-deal Brexit. This would mean the U.K. would stop being a member of the EU overnight, without any deal or transition period — a scenario that would bring massive uncertainty for businesses, citizens and markets.

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