Shale Gas Unlikely Solution To UK’s Future Energy Needs

September 2012, Vol. 239 No. 9

Over recent years the United Kingdom has become ever more dependent on the import of gas to supply its energy needs, presenting risks for its future energy security.

In a presentation to the annual international conference of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in Edinburgh, Professor Mike Bradshaw, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, suggested that a ‘perfect storm’ of multiple failures is developing around UK energy policy.

Commenting on his research Bradshaw said: “There is a high degree of risk and uncertainty associated with every element of the UK’s energy strategy – whether that’s energy efficiency, renewable energy, or carbon capture and storage. Coming together, these could result into an ever greater reliance of gas, at a time when its price is likely to increase because of growing demand from countries including China and India.”

While some experts believe shale gas extraction is the solution to these future gas and energy security issues, Bradshaw disagrees, insisting that significant levels of exploitation are unlikely for many years, due to substantial logistical and environmental challenges.

“Shale gas is unlikely to be a game-changer in the UK,” he said.

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