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Gas galore? Fracking and the future of energy

55.48

Fracking thumb

With ageing nuclear power stations closing down and renewables only meeting a small proportion of British energy needs, what does the future of energy look like?  Shale gas is an abundant and potentially cheaper source of energy. In the US 25% of its natural gas comes from shale resources. So why has there been so much resistance to this new source of energy in Britain? Does fracking really use a lot of dangerous chemicals? Does it really contaminate drinking water? These and many more questions are discussed by experts in this debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas. Given the recent Balcombe fracking fracas it’s a must see.

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Related topics: Debates, Democracy, Economy, Science & Progress

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Ian R Crane said:

A debate which conveniently skirts around the contamination and health issues which have manifested in the US, Canada & Australia as a direct result of proximity to unconventional gas wells. In addition, no mention is made of the magnitude of water abstraction nor the issue of Flowback/Produced Water in the UK.

Will said:

A good explanation of the process of hydraulic fracturing and its benefits from Stephen Bull. Of course the landscape of the UK is vastly different from the US; nimbyism is perhaps a greater issue in the UK as there is now much less of our natural heritage to protect. I think most would agree that rural communities should not be driving the debate to the extent they are and even if they don’t want houses ‘littering’ the rural landscape, surely most rural communities could learn to accept a 10×10 well in the middle of a field if it is in the national interest.

Piotr said:

It seems that the ‘Windy Miller Tendency’ (aka fracktivists) need to see this, quite measured discussion.

Lara said:

Fracking has been around for decades and it has been proven to be a reasonably safe technique of gas extraction. However, the potentialities of this new source of energy have been undermined by constant alarmist stories. One of these scare stories was the ‘earthquakes’ that occurred as a consequence of Cuadrilla’s gas-drilling. However these ‘earthquakes’ had a maximum magnitude of 2.3 on the Richter scale, which were too small to even be felt by people. Shale gas is an abundant, cheaper and a reliable source of energy that we should all celebrate.