11Jul / 2014
The RICS article sets out the personal view of GGS’s founder and managing director, Simon Talbot, on the UK energy sector and the possible role of shale gas in the country’s future energy mix.
The complete energy sector, from primary production through energy conversion to final consumption, is complex and is often over simplified in the media. The article refers to the government’s published energy flow data to describe the elements that could be substituted by the UK’s on-shore natural gas resources.
The article also discusses the need to move to a low carbon economy in the context of the last IPCC report and the role of shale gas as a transition fuel. Other potential benefits of energy security and reduced air pollution are explored. However, the point is made that the UK government has to balance energy policy against world economic forces, changes in the geo-political landscape while ensuring that any shale gas development is safe. In terms of a safe industry the three planks of working to best practice, strong regulation and independent monitoring are referenced.
In terms of resources and proven reserves, what ever may be desirable in terms of moving to cleaner energy sources, improved balance of payments and energy security, the size and scale of the shale gas opportunity will only be known by further exploration to determine what can be technically and commercially recovered.
The article concludes that ultimately, if the UK needs gas, is it better to develop local resources that are well regulated or to increasingly rely on imports from less stable parts of the world with questionable environmental controls.
The full article is available here:
UK Energy flow chart 2012 (source DECC)