Britain should not take down its wind farms and move to shale gas despite recently discovered reserves
The announcement by Cuadrilla Resources 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, could change Britain’s energy market.
But a golden age of cheap energy looks increasingly unlikely – and wind turbines are here to stay, according to The Telegraph
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 back-up 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.
However, wholesale energy prices are volatile. World gas prices are up 40 per cent in a year, and half of the average household bill goes on wholesale gas and electricity costs.
As Ofgem has made clear, such higher gas prices are the real reason heating and electricity bills have been going up over the past eight years.