Energy generation in Wales: Shale Gas

23Jun / 2014

Energy generation in Wales: Shale Gas

The Welsh Affairs Committee says shale gas represents an opportunity for Wales in a report issued today.  However, it must not come at the expense of Wales’s natural environment. The environmental risks must be considered further by the UK and Welsh Governments.

The Committee’s key conclusions and recommendations are:

  • The UK Government and the Welsh Government should work with commercial companies and others to provide a reliable range of estimates of shale gas available in Wales.
  • Both the UK and Welsh Government should assess the overall impact of shale gas supply on the level and mix of energy produced in Wales and the UK.
  • The Welsh Government should now consider how the employment opportunities presented by shale gas production could be maximised.
  • The UK Government must provide further information about how local communities in Wales will benefit, financially or otherwise, from shale gas operations in their area.
  • Both the UK Government and the Welsh Government must ensure that the regulatory and planning framework considers environmental risks associated with fracking suitably.
  • The issue of treatment, transportation and disposal of wastewater is a growing concern: Toxic and radioactive water must not be allowed to contaminate water courses.
  • The Government should consider the case for minimising ground-level shale gas operations in sensitive areas in Wales, such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Parks. It must set out how it would ensure that development does not compromise designated sites, in particular those in environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Commercial companies should pay for an independent Environmental Impact Assessment at the exploratory stage of any significant shale gas development.

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