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Uncovered UK gas reserves could accelerate shift to zero carbon energy systems

Date
27 June 2013
Uncovered UK gas reserves could accelerate shift to zero carbon energy systems

LONDON: Today the UK Government announced that a region in the north of the country potentially holds double the amount of shale gas than was first thought, reigniting suggestions that the UK could follow the US to energy independence and secure a swift transition to zero-carbon energy systems through unconventional gas use.

The British Geological Survey revealed estimations that there are 1,3000 trillion cubic feet of shale gas resources in the north of the UK, an amount which is more than double what the researchers had first estimated.

The report does not confirm whether or not this amount can be extracted for use, but it will give the industry an indication of how to plan possible future drilling for gas.

Today the UK Government also unveiled its long-term infrastructure investment plan on shale gas drilling reforms.

Michael Fallon, UK Energy Minister, said: “Shale gas represents an exciting new potential energy resource for the UK, and could play an important part in our energy mix. The next step for industry is to establish how much gas is technically and commercially recoverable. With the package announced today on planning, environmental regulations, and community benefits, it is clear that we want to encourage a shale industry that is safe and that doesn’t damage the environment."

The Climate Group recently published an Insight Briefing on Unconventional Gas.

Damian Ryan, Senior Policy Manager, The Climate Group, said: “Today’s findings could change the energy landscape in the UK, as unconventional gas reserves can act as an important bridge to the zero carbon power sector we need before 2050. But while natural gas is ‘cleaner’ than other fossil fuels, particularly coal, its potential as a transition fuel depends on dealing with fugitive emissions and impacts on national GHG targets.

"For any kind of sustainable exploitation of unconventional gas to take place, strong national and international emission reduction targets must be in place, with natural gas use confined within these caps and associated carbon budgets.”

Read our Insight Briefing on Unconventional Gas

Insight Briefings are available to our partners immediately upon publication and are made accessible to the public three months later. To become a partner of The Climate Group, contact us now

By Clare Saxon

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