Are policy-makers overlooking the potential of green alternatives in their “dash for gas”? Here, Rolf Stein of Advanced Plasma Power argues for the need for green gas in our energy mix…
As the Energy Bill makes its way through the legislative process, the debate about the potential contribution of shale gas to the UK’s energy mix continues. In some instances, the debate has become very heated with both sides using inflamed arguments. As a consequence, it can be difficult to discern the facts about shale, drilling and the best way to achieve an affordable, secure, low-carbon energy future for the UK.
There is certainly a need for more gas-fired power generation in the UK’s energy mix to replace dirtier, aging coal fired plants, particularly peaking plant. It has been identified as a priority technology by the chancellor to help increase energy security and bring down the cost of power. Shale gas has been cited as a priority source of gas for this purpose. However, the true impact of shale gas is unknown at this stage; whilst many potential sites in the UK and elsewhere have been identified it is still not known if they are economically viable. Much exploratory drilling will have to be done to find the answers. There are many other options for diversifying our energy mix and thereby achieving the aims of the Energy Bill and these should be expanded whilst the impact of shale remains an unknown. Green gas should be an important consideration at this juncture.
Is green gas a viable alternative to shale gas?