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Subsidies: UN criticises UK, Germany for backing fossil fuels

Ban Ki-moon’s climate change envoy has accused the UK and Germany of backtracking on the spirit of the Paris climate deal by financing the fossil fuel industry through subsidies.

Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN special envoy on climate change and El Niño, said she had to speak out after Germany promised compensation for coal power and the UK provided tax breaks for oil and gas, reports The Guardian.

Fracking: Ineos to lodge 30 planning applications in UK 

The FT reports that Ineos, the $50bn petrochemicals giant controlled by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, aims to accelerate shale gas development in the UK by lodging as many as 30 planning applications to drill test wells in the next six months.

Tom Crotty, a director at Ineos, said the company hoped to start drilling in the north of England early next year and could begin extracting gas in about 18 months through the controversial technique known as fracking.

Ex energy bosses invest in battery start-up 

The FT reports that a bunch of former fossil fuel energy bosses – including Sam Laidlaw, the former Centrica boss, and Ian Merchant the SSE boss – have invested in a British home battery company with two other veteran UK energy executives in a sign of surging interest in disruptive solar power storage.

Laidlaw has backed Moixa Technology, a small London-based company that makes briefcase-sized battery systems that can store electricity from solar panels and sell it to the grid.

Batteries could soon be making big trouble for the Big Six and other energy giants, as Emma Howard reports.

China to build $50 trillion global wind and solar project 

And another thing that changes with batteries and distributed energy is the grid. That’s why China’s launched the Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) project. Yes. Note the “global” bit there.

Apparently this means: “According to the World Economic Forum, the project won’t just be about connecting countries’ energy grids, but actually generating enough power to run the world. China hopes to connect wind farms in the Arctic Circle with solar farms located on the Equator, in a system that will transcend national boundaries and provide clean energy everywhere.”

In other news:

Offshore wind: New York state could boast the largest offshore windfarm in the US

Gates: Africa needs an energy miracle 

UK: FT’s Butler calls for rethink of climate change act