National statistics show that most coal was produced in England over a century ago (http://www.ncm.org.uk/docs/collections-documents/statistics-in-mining.pdf?sfvrsn=2) – surely after 100 years of scientific discovery we can come up with a less destructive method of energy production.
Were the same efforts utilised to make every home energy-efficient, to develop bio-gas from landfill and sewage works, to incentivise the construction of renewable energy infrastructure (quieter and less intrusive than fracking operations), we would be able to avert the energy crisis which fracking is supposed to address.
“On Sunday, Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International .”
Germany has declared a moratorium on fracking until long-term damage to residents or the environment brought about by fracking can be ruled out or until alternative extraction methods become available that don’t rely on the injection of toxic chemicals.Massive hydraulic fracturing of gas wells in tight sandstone began in Germany in 1975, and became common during the period 1978-1985.
Professor Jim Watson, Research Director, UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) “My view is that UK shale production is unlikely to have the dramatic impact on gas prices that has occurred in the United States.”
Professor Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of Sedimentary Geology, University of Edinburgh” Europe does not have the huge numbers of drilling rigs needed to drill, and keep on drilling boreholes at the rate needed to make shale gas a significant impact on UK gas supply. “
Samuela Bassi, Policy Analyst at the Grantham Research Institute in Climate Change and the Environment, and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science “However, these new BGS figures do not indicate that there is enough shale gas to stop the UK being dependent on imports of natural gas, and so fuel prices for households and businesses will not automatically fall.”
Lord Browne chairman of fracking company Cuadrilla, one of the most powerful energy figures in Britain, “Fracking is not going to reduce gas prices in the UK”, according to the chairman of the UK’s leading shale gas company,
However, Browne, who is the chairman of fracking company Cuadrilla, said: “I don’t know what the contribution of shale gas will be to the energy mix of the UK. We need to drill probably 10-12 wells and test them and it needs to be done as quickly as possible.”
“We are part of a well-connected European gas market and, unless it is a gigantic amount of gas, it is not going to have material impact on price,” he said. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/29/browne-fracking-not-reduce-uk-gas-prices-shale-energy-bills
More expert reaction to shale gas reserves are greater than previously thought:
Lord Howell of Guildford, George Osborne’s father-in-law has warned that the Conservatives will lose thousands of votes if fracking goes ahead in the Tory heartlands of southern England and the home counties instead of the “derelict” north, where Labour dominates.
The energy company leading efforts to exploit Britain’s shale gas reserves has threatened to pull out unless the law is changed to allow it to drill under people’s homes without their permission.
Next meeting Swanland \village Hall 28 May 2014 – make your own mind up
Support for shale gas was at a high of 58% in July 2012, which slumped to 54% last September and 53.3% this January, the long-running survey by YouGov for the University of Nottingham shows.
Last week, the Tory peer Lord Howell, who is chancellor George Osborne’s father-in-law and who caused a furore last year when he said fracking should take place in the “desolate” north-east, warned that fracking could cost the Conservative party electorally.
We are rather fond of our bit of the north east of England … and hope that it is not sacrificed.