Here at Utility Helpline, as a leading business energy management company
, we are keen to keep our customers up-to-date with the latest energy news. To that end, we have reported several times about the emergence of shale gas. Shale gas has emerged politically - as a potential answer to the UK’s energy problems - and it has also emerged literally
, as a consequence of the technique of fracking: pumping water and gas into the shale rock in order to allow this gas to escape.
It’s an intriguing, if complicated business, and not without controversy, pitting the interests of big business against those of the environmental lobby, with the government and UK business energy consumers somewhere in between. In 2011, for instance, two earth tremors off the coast from Blackpool were blamed on fracking in the area, only for that to be later dismissed by scientists from Durham University. Following that controversy, energy company Cuadrilla leafleted households in Lancashire about the safety of fracking, only to have that booklet banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, who upheld complaints that it overstated safety claims.
However, in terms of bringing the issue right up to date for our business energy customers, here is our basic overview of where we’re up in April 2013. And it’s a mixed picture. It looks likely that shale gas will indeed secure the UK’s energy supplies… which is the good news. However, what now seems unlikely is that this new resource will have any downward impact on prices. You may well have read of the success of shale gas in the USA. Over here in the UK, however, the issue is very different. Of course there are differences in terms of the actual geological landscape around these isles, which may make it harder to extract the shale gas. Also, as we saw in Lancashire, there is a substantial body of public opinion that also rejects fracking on more ideological grounds.
Whatever happens with fracking, the government needs to do something to secure the UK’s energy resources and decarbonize heavy industry. If it’s not fracking, then nuclear output will need to be upped to four times the current capacity, or wind power 20 times. As a business energy management company, we, like you, are interested in the future of the UK’s energy supply and it’s impact on prices and to that end we will continue to keep you updated on shale gas, this interesting new resource for business energy.