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In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Vattenfall gets the green light to run a Dutch pilot combining solar panels and strip farming.
  • The UK currently has around 25,000 EV chargers, and will need 10 times that by 2030.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Solar and strip farming combined

Swedish energy firm Vattenfall has received a permit to run a four-year Dutch solar panels and strip farming pilot in Almere, east of Amsterdam. The Symbizon project will receive funding from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Annemarie Schouten, head of Solar Development Netherlands, explains:

In the solar farm we alternate rows of panels with strips where various crops are grown for organic farming. This means that far fewer solar panels are being installed per hectare than is usual.

To ensure sufficient light yield, we use double-sided solar panels. They catch the reflected light from the soil, the crops, and the adjacent rows and use it to produce solar energy. The panels also rotate with the sun to maximize yield.

Vattenfall will now decide whether to proceed on Symbizon by the end of 2021. If it does, construction will start in 2022. It would have a capacity of 0.7 MWp.

Innovation organization TNO would develop a solar tracking algorithm that tracks crop and energy yields and the effects of herb strips, weather forecasts, energy price, and soil conditions. Aeres Hogeschool, ERF, the largest private organic farm in the Netherlands, would monitor the effect of the solar tracking system on crop yield, diseases, and ease of use for the farmer.

Read more: Solar panels and California’s canals could make a winning pair

UK needs 250,000 EV chargers

UK government competition regulator the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set out measures to ensure a national network of electric vehicle chargers are in place ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new gas and diesel cars.

The UK currently has around 25,000 chargers. The CMA forecasts suggest that more than 10 times this amount – 250,000 – will be needed by 2030. So it recommends that the British government sets out an ambitious national strategy for rolling out EV charging and supports local authorities to boost rollout of on-street charging. It also recommends that drivers have a choice of charging provider at each service station.

Further, charger availability varies greatly by region, with 80 chargers per 100,000 people in London, yet only 17 chargers per 100,000 people in Northern Ireland and 20 per 100,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber. The CMA writes:

In particular, the CMA is concerned about the choice and availability of chargepoints at motorway service stations, where competition is limited; the roll-out of on-street charging by Local Authorities (which many drivers will rely on) is too slow; and rural areas risk being left behind with too few chargepoints due to lack of investment.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said:

Some areas of the rollout are going well and the UK’s network is growing – but it’s clear that other parts, like charging at motorway service stations and on-street, have much bigger hurdles to overcome.

Our recommendations will promote strong competition, encourage more investment, and build people’s trust, both now and in the future.

Photo: “Typical Dutch landscape” by Marcel Oosterwijk is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


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Harry and Meghan’s documentary series trailer released by Netflix

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Harry and Meghan's documentary series trailer released by Netflix

The trailer for Harry and Meghan’s new documentary series has been released.

The one-minute preview, released by Netflix, features previously unseen black and white photographs of the couple set to music.

They are heard being asked “Why did you want to make this documentary?” to which Harry replies: “No one sees what’s happening behind closed doors.”

He adds: “I had to do everything I could to protect my family” before Meghan is seen wiping away tears.

The trailer ends with Meghan saying: “When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”

Images of William and Kate with Harry and Meghan at the Commonwealth Day service in 2020, the Sussexes’ final public appearance as senior working royals, feature among the images.

There are also joyful pictures of the couple kissing while Meghan sits on a kitchen counter, as newlyweds dancing at their wedding, cuddling in a photobooth, and Meghan cradling her baby bump.

But the duchess is also pictured in sadder moments, wiping away tears and sitting with her hands covering her face.

Meghan and Harry. Pic: Netflix
Image:
Meghan and Harry. Pic: Netflix

Netflix describes the documentary, titled Harry & Meghan, as a “global event” and says it is “coming soon” – reports say it will land on 8 December.

It says the show “explores the clandestine days of their early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution”.

It features commentary from friends, family and royal historians.

It adds: “The series does more than illuminate one couple’s love story, it paints a picture of our world and how we treat each other.”

The director, Liz Garbus, is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning director.

Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals – thought to be worth well over £100m- with Netflix and Spotify after quitting the monarchy and moving to the US.

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Squid Game actor O Yeong-su to stand trial on indecent assault charges in South Korea

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Squid Game actor O Yeong-su to stand trial on indecent assault charges in South Korea

The Squid Game actor O Yeong-su will stand trial on charges of indecent assault after a woman accused him of inappropriately touching her.

The trial of the Golden Globe winner, 78, was set for February at the district court in the South Korean city of Seongnam last week.

Specific details about the case could not be confirmed at this stage, Kim Myeong-un, an official in the district prosecutors’ office, said.

O Yeong-su (left) with other Squid Game actors in the Netflix series. Pic: AP
Image:
O Yeong-su, left, in Squid Game. Pic: AP

O allegedly made unwanted physical contact with the woman, who has not been identified, at a meeting five years ago.

He denies any wrongdoing and has claimed he only held the woman’s hands to “show her the way” as they walked around a lake, according to a local television channel.

O said he had offered the woman an apology, not because he accepted the accusations against him were valid, but because the woman allegedly told him she “wouldn’t raise an issue” about the incident if he did, according to JTBC.

O became the first South Korean actor to win a Golden Globe in January after he was named the best supporting actor for his role in Squid Game.

More on Netflix

The violent Netflix drama follows a group of severely indebted adults competing in a series of deadly children’s games for a share of a cash prize.

O was also nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Oh Il-nam, a mysterious elderly contestant who joined the games after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

O has not yet commented publicly on the allegations.

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Jake Flint: US country star, 37, dies just hours after getting married

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Jake Flint: US country star, 37, dies just hours after getting married

US country music star Jake Flint has died unexpectedly at the age of 37, just hours after getting married.

The Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter died in his sleep after he tied the knot with wife Brenda on Saturday.

His heartbroken bride posted on Facebook: “We should be going through wedding photos but instead, I have to pick out clothes to bury my husband in.

“People aren’t meant to feel this much pain.

“My heart is gone and I just really need him to come back.

“I can’t take much more. I need him here.”

She also shared a picture of the couple dancing after their nuptials on Facebook, writing “I don’t understand.”

More on Country Music

Mr Flint’s publicist, Clif Doyal, said the musician died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, 27 November.

“Flint had exchanged wedding vows with Brenda Wilson on Saturday. He was 37.

“No official cause of death has been determined.”

In a statement shared by Mr Doyal, Mr Flint’s family said they were “broken” over the “tragic loss” of their beloved son, brother, uncle and partner, known to them as Jacob.

“He valued his family, friendships and living life to the fullest, which was evident in his songwriting.

“Every person who knew him has a story of his wit, charm, talent and compassion.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support and the many beautiful tributes that have been shared about the impact Jacob had on many lives.

“While we grieve what we know could have been, we are grateful that his talent and love live on in his songs.”

A service for Mr Flint will take place on Monday at Cedar Point Church in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Instead of flowers, the family have requested donations to the Red Dirt Relief Fund, an organisation which provides emergency assistance funding grants to musicians in need.

A fundraising campaign has also been launched to raise money for the family of Mr Flint, described as a “great man in our music community.”

The musician was in the middle of a multi-state tour and had been scheduled to perform in Claremore on Friday.

His former manager, Brenda Cline, said she “loved him much like a son”, hailing him as the “funniest, most hilarious, hardest working, dedicated artist I have ever worked with in my career.”

“Jake has a million friends and I’m not sure how everyone will cope with this tragic loss,” she wrote on Facebook.

“This is going to be incredibly difficult for so many. We love you Jake and in our hearts forever.”

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