Shale Gas and Wind Turbines

by Chris Huhne, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Two months ago, an unlisted energy company released an initial estimate of UK shale gas reserves. Cue protesters picketing my department, and suggestions that Britain should tear down its wind farms and move the pound to a mythical “shale standard”. As ever, behind lurid headlines lurks a little truth. The announcement by Cuadrilla Reserves that there could be 200 trillion cubic feet of gas in the shale under Lancashire could, if the volumes are proven and the reserves recovered, change Britain’s energy market. But a golden age of cheap energy looks increasingly unlikely – and wind turbines are certainly here to stay. Natural gas is a critical part of our energy mix today, as it will be tomorrow, and beyond 2030. As old coal and nuclear power stations shut down, gas can provide flexible and reliable backup electricity to complement the next generation of renewable energy. Gas is also the primary fuel we use to heat our homes, and will remain so until well into the 2020s. It is the cleanest fossil fuel; with carbon capture and storage technology, it can provide a significant amount of low-carbon electricity in the long term, too. This year, for the first time ever, we imported more gas – whether piped from Norway or shipped from Qatar – than we pumped from our own continental shelf. We are keen that the market continues to invest in the capacity, storage and infrastructure to support our import needs, and are working with Ofgem to sharpen the incentives to ensure that suppliers can meet demand ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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