“The decision made by the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, to allow hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in Lancashire provides the industry with the opportunity to put its words into action and prove that UK shale reserves can be extracted safely and commercially,” said the chief executive of the Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA), Mike Foster.

“If they can’t then that’s it, the end of the debate, there will be no UK shale industry. If they can, then the UK as a whole could reap the benefits,” he continued.

“There is widespread agreement that the UK will rely on gas for part of its energy needs for decades to come. With gas from the North Sea dwindling, the UK is becoming more dependent on imported gas. Having our own shale gas reserves will help secure our energy future and at the same time reduce carbon emissions globally.”

The EUA has long argued that tax revenues from the shale gas industry should be used to fund the wholesale energy efficiency retrofit of homes in the UK, bringing bills down and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

“Shale gas has the potential to transform the energy landscape in the UK, however, it needs to be proven that it can be done safely, effectively and in a way that reduces carbon,” Mr Foster concluded. “Mr Javid’s decision allows Cuadrilla the opportunity to demonstrate this and we will be interested to see what the results are.” 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Calin Tatu