Shale fuels offer us the chance to go greener
WHILE one must take note of warnings from the United Nations in respect of global warming, they should not necessarily be interpreted as requiring the immediate cessation of burning fossil fuels, or as having particular reference to shale oil and shale gas.
What we do need (and what also was sadly lacking when North Sea oil was discovered) is a plan. In the case of North Sea oil, the plan seems to have been to use up the resource and then go back to importing oil and gas.
Shale gas and shale oil offer a unique and magnificent opportunity unlikely to be repeated. Not only will they assist us towards energy security, they will also enormously reduce the balance of payments deficit.
A plan now would reap huge rewards for the day when even shale gas runs out. A proportion of the profits set aside could be directed, from the outset, towards developing green energy.
Gradually, as shale gas runs down, green energy will be expanding to fill the gap and there will be no break. Indeed, we would be less dependent upon fossil fuels over the years as this programme was rolled out.
In this way, shale gas can be usefully employed to solve the problems of industry, global warming, and self-sufficiency in green energy – not to mention giving us a kickstart when it is most needed.