Two great articles over the weekend from our friends across the Atlantic - The message of shale gas is: scrap the Climate Act and This dash for shale gas should be Plan Z not Plan A.
The Telegraph, true to its conservative bent, is touting the ever growing shale reserves in Great Britain: “Who could doubt that the Almighty has a sense of humor when, on the very day headlines were filled with warnings that our electricity system is now in such a parlous state that we can soon expect power cuts and electricity “rationing”, we were also told that Britain is now sitting on what has been called “by far the biggest shale gas basin in the world. . . We will not see an end to this insanity until our politicians recover their senses, struggle back into the real world and strike that Act [the Climate Act to reduce CO2 emissions] from the statute book.”.
The Independent, not surprisingly, is pouring cold water on Britain’s shale energy opportunity. “[W]orries about contamination of groundwater are a real risk, as has been demonstrated from shale gas development in the US. And given the high demand for water in the fracking process, there could be tensions over the allocation of this critical resource during future drought periods.”
Both articles are good succinct reads and combined they do a good job laying out the opportunity and hurdles of developing shale energy in Great Britain. Both authors acknowledge the shortfalls of the status quo for Britain – unreliable and expensive electricity. Both also acknowledge the allure of shale gas. Perhaps a compromise policy is obtainable!