IET fracking comment

Simon Harrison, Chair of the IET Energy Policy Panel, said: “The decision to allow fracking near the village of Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire will undoubtedly see fresh debate on shale gas extraction, or ‘fracking’.

“A joint report from the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering revealed no technical reasons not to frack in the UK – but does identify some critical issues to address.  Principal of these is the need for coordination and policing of appropriate regulation to ensure that the environmental and social impacts of fracking in the UK are understood and kept to a minimum.

“We will not know for several years how much shale gas there is under the UK and whether it is suitable for exploitation. It is also worth noting that shale gas obtained by fracking is more expensive than conventional gas – and in the UK its final price will be determined by the European gas market. This means that energy prices for the consumer are unlikely to fall significantly as a result of UK fracked gas.

“Shale gas has some potential to increase energy security, but will only bring climate change benefits if it is used instead of coal. If it is used to displace imported gas there will be no climate change benefits at all.”

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