Monday, September 21, 2015

UK Task Force Assesses Potential Climate Change Impacts of Shale Gas Development

On September 16, 2015, the UK Task Force on Shale Gas published a report entitled “Assessing the impact of shale gas on climate change.” The report examines the potential climate impacts of shale gas extraction in the UK and how it would affect the introduction of renewable or low-carbon technologies into UK climate change policy. This report follows two preceding reports, respectively entitled “Planning, Regulation and Local Engagement” and “Assessing the Impact of Shale Gas on the Local Environment and Health.”

After analyzing the transferability of renewable energy into the UK energy mix,, the Task Force observed that the development of renewable energy likely would not meet the UK energy demands in the near future. The Task Force also emphasized that the potential climate impacts of shale gas development will be comparable to those of conventional gas extraction and will be much lower than those of LNG transportation. As a result, it concluded that “there is a requirement for [shale gas] to play a significant role in the UK’s energy mix in the short and medium term.” 

The Task Force recommended that the “government should commit to deploying the government energy-specific revenue derived from a developed shale gas industry to investment in research and development . . . and innovation” so as to enhance new and innovative forms of low carbon energy generation, storage, and distribution.  

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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