A new MIT report shows shale gas in the US creates jobs, keeps energy prices low but suppresses the development of the renewables revolution.
"Shale might provide the flexibility to meet reduction targets at lower costs today, making it a strong “bridge” in the short term to a low-carbon future. But the report concludes that we can’t let “the greater ease of the near term … erode efforts to prepare a landing at the other end of the bridge.”
Read the full MIT report “The Influence of Shale Gas on U.S. Energy and Environmental Policy”.
Bulgaria’s government approved a temporary moratorium on shale gas exploration after massive protests in several cities. (Source: Novinite.com)
That said, the temporary moratorium seems more like a tactical manoeuvre to split the opposition movement than a real ban.
France has a moratorium on shale gas in place since July 2011 but exploration has already started in several other European countries (Poland, Germany, UK and others). A recent report by Ernst & Young “Shale gas in Europe: revolution or evolution” gives an overview of the shale gas situation in Europe.
In a new article in the Climate Change journal, three researchers of Cornell University criticise the famous greenhouse-gas footprint study of shale gas done by Howarth and others last year. Their figures show that the greenhouse impact of shale gas is "half and perhaps a third that of coal."
Andrew Revkin on his Dot Earth blog in the NY Times has lined up the arguments from both camps as Howarth has in the meantime answered the new study. Howarth still concludes: “shale gas is not a suitable bridge fuel for the 21st Century”.
It is clear that also in Europe the shale gas debate will heat up considerably in 2012. Even if carbon emissions of natural gas are lower than coal, will gas really replace coal or will we just end up with more gas AND more coal, and therefore more climate change? This blog will keep track of latest developments and policy proposals in this war of arguments for the “Golden Age of Gas”.
"The emergence of U.S. shale gas resources to economic viability affects the nation’s energy outlook and the expected role of natural gas in climate policy. Even in the face of the current shale gas boom, however, questions are raised about both the economics of this industry and the wisdom of basing future environmental policy on projections of large shale gas supplies."
This new report from the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change has a good overview of chances and risks of shale gas production.
“The recent press about the potential of shale gas would have you believe that America is now sitting on a 100-year supply of natural gas.”
Could the "game-changing" "golden age of gas" be no more than an 11-year blip in America’s energy history? Energy experts Chris Nelder asks some inconvenient questions on Slate.
“In an attempt to convince wary local populations of the benefits of shale gas exploration, several US energy companies are employing former soldiers with psychological warfare experience learned in Iraq.”
Social media news site OWNI.EU has this worrying article on the use of strange communication strategies to break public opposition to shale gas fracking.
“Companies are going to need to develop mechanisms to ensure products can be traced and sourced with sustainability in mind”, says a new Report by SustainAbility (Source: The Guardian)
Great idea but I am sure there will be a lot of lobbying and "no can do" arguments from the fossil fuel industry against such concepts.
In Europe, shale gas will not have the transformational impact it has had in the United States according to a new Ernst&Young report. Social acceptance, environmental challenges and different fiscal and regulatory regimes will influence the pace and size of shale gas production in Europe more than it has done in the US.
Read the full report.
"The current developments in the Barents Sea can be regarded as both a temporal and structural “window of opportunity” for the development of a privileged energy partnership between the EU and Norway, with obvious advantages for the EU."
This interesting article on the Arctic Institute web site makes the case for increased cooperation between Norway and the EU concerning energy and resource policies for the Arctic.
“Both the EU and Norway share similar visions, values and norms with regard to resource exploitation, energy efficiency and environmental protection: affordable – reliable – clean. It is in the strategic interest of the EU to strengthen the cooperation efforts and ensure that international/European environmental standards are implemented at all times. An energy partnership agreement could design specific policy approaches and instruments regarding the European Arctic, encapsulating energy needs and environmental concerns.”
“Shale-gas drilling in Poland costs almost three times as much as in the U.S., said Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oilfield-services provider.” ‘Source: Bloomberg)
Interesting admission from one of the key industries. At these costs will shale gas development ever be profitable in Europe?
In the U.S. several industry experts claim that even in their country shale gas is much more expensive than companies want to admit and have questioned profitability of this unconventional gas. See e.g. Arthur E. Berman and Lynn F. Pittinger: U.S. Shale Gas: Less Abundance, Higher Cost