Saturday, 10 August 2013

Will fracking solve the UK’s energy problems?

This government is committed to promoting and encouraging fracking as a means of providing cheap gas for the UK. Are they right? Well first of all, a House of Lords investigation has said that fracking in the UK will have minimal impact on gas prices.

So no cheap gas. In that case is it still the answer to dwindling gas supplies? Apart from the uncertainty about just how much of the UK’s shale gas can be recovered in a  commercially viable manner, there is also a much better alternative from a  green perspective – biogas.

Biogas is produced via anaerobic digestion of waste materials – agricultural waste, food waste.
With proper government support – not even as much as they are giving undeservedly to the fracking industry – anaerobic digestion could produce more than 10% of UK domestic gas demand. At the same time it would create 35,000 new green jobs, reducing harmful emissions and improving energy and food security.

By products of anaerobic digestion can be used as organic fertiliser thus increasing land fertility and crop yields. The gas produced can be used as gas, as fuel or to generate electricity. Anaerobic digesters can also be used as combined heat and power units.

Why can’t the government see this? Why are they backing completely the wrong ‘horse’ on energy? It couldn’t have anything to do with wanting directorships as sinecures when they leave parliament could it?

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