No quick fix: Fracking shale gas won’t make UK energy self-sufficient, says study

Reuters / Gareth FullerGovernment researchers claim politicians have “overhyped” the energy potential of the shale gas industry, claiming it would not necessarily result in the UK’s energy self-sufficiency.

Research from the Imperial College based group UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) found shale gas was unlikely to become a primary resource within the next 10 years, and that the UK was unlikely to follow in the footsteps of America, whose shale gas industry has contributed to increasing energy self-sufficiency.

A second report from UKERC claims that by 2025 global gas consumption will have peaked. That will in part be due to strict limits imposed by the 2050 goals of an 80 percent reduction in global carbon emissions.

The results suggest that, given the predicted timescale for the implementation of shale gas drilling in the UK, the resource will not provide the ‘quick fix’ it has been publicized to be.

The coalition government has promoted fracking in the UK, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying in January 2014 that Britain is “going all out for shale.” However, reports indicate there is a limited capacity for the effective use of shale gas.

Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex and author of the report ‘The UK’s Global Gas Challenge’ claimed that government ministers and industry professionals had “overhyped” the impact shale would have on the UK’s energy security.

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