The new blocks are not useful. A short essay on my experience with the public test.
I want the new blocks to enable greater creative flexibility, more than I want "progression." Balance should be prioritized only after this.
I was most excited for the new small batteries and was sourly disappointed with them in the test. They should be either A; only slightly less energy-dense than the old batteries to account for the greater surface area of the "shell" around the smaller batteries, B; the same energy-density, or, C; more energy-dense and later in the progression, since batteries become more energy-dense (smaller) as technology progresses. I was excited for small batteries because they could enable my compact builds to become even more compact. As they were balanced in the test, I couldn't find them useful for anything. There is no way to salvage power cells, thus, there is no way to acquire more of them until a basic assembler is built. Essentially, they are made redundant from the moment they are available by the bigger--better battery we already had.
As for the hydrogen engine, I didn't expect much (I already consider hydrogen "low tech,") but I still managed to be disappointed by their max power output. I had hoped it would mirror the natural balance of the thrusters, with hydrogen being able to output oodles of energy, while consuming fuel inconveniently fast. Also, without a smaller hydrogen container I didn't find it useful later on. A player is forced to work with the tiny amount of fuel the engine holds, or strap a water tower onto their build. I'm holding out hope that this will be one of the surprises alluded to. Arbitrarily limiting options isn't balance. Pressure vessels are an especially basic technology to be limiting so severely in a sci-fi setting. On this count, I accuse Keen of laziness.
I did not test the wind turbine, as I tested the new moon rover start. Which worked great, except for a major bottleneck when trying to power my first large grid, revolving around the pre-existing inability to salvage powercells.
In conclusion, the new progression felt forced where before there was a natural progression. I believe there exists a balance to be found that will both support your ideas for progression while maintaining the usefulness of the new blocks beyond a new game start. Releasing new blocks that will only be useful at the very start of a new game seems like a waste of your efforts. That said, thank you for all of your hard work! Space Engineers is a great game with even greater potential!