Why is shale gas BEO (Best Environmental Option) and an environmental necessity in the UK? There is a stark choice looming. Solar and wind turbine farms do not produce gas. Around two thirds/ three quarters of UK homes are heated by gas. Just suppose we had the renewable energy capability which was also sustainable (you get more out then you put in), which we do not have yet, but even if we did, how long would it take to change all those domestic properties to renewable and sustainable electricity? Never mind the cost (which would be substantial), how long would it take to change several million households? Without any doubt, any doubt whatsoever, several generations.
A significant proportion of our gas is imported. No other country in the world has technology as good as the UK drilling industry. No other country in the world is as well regulated and inspected as the UK. There are British drilling fluids you can drink. (Not too much at once – you would get constipated but not poisoned.) Logically, if we have a higher degree of environmental friendliness, have our shale gas not someone else’s. Shale gas is a clean burn “transition fuel” which will buy us the time and give us the cash to develop sustainable renewable energy – provided we do not squander the cash on something else. (Not to mention North Sea oil?) Keeping jobs here is a bonus and not an insignificant one.
Want some more figures? Go to www.shalegas.co.uk.
Bill Butterworth 6th February 2016