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NCE Live News Updates Thursday 20 March: Fracking fixation could undermine renewables, warn experts

Water and environment experts say an over emphasis about fracking for shale gas could prevent development of alternative technologies.

11am: Environmental experts have warned government that its fixation on shale gas could undermine renewables investment.

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (Ciwem) said it was deeply concerned that apparently ever-increasing fracking for shale gas will undermine the development of alternative technologies, such as carbon capture and storage.

It issued the warning ahead of energy and climate minister Greg Barker unveiling a new Strategic Framework for low carbon technology.

“The central bind for Barker is that the more the UK seeks to develop shale gas to meet energy security needs, the greater the long-term risks that the government fails in its commitment to increase the use of low-carbon technologies,” said Ciwem chief executive Simon Festing. ” Outright opposition to fracking is irrational, since its use can reduce carbon emissions in the short term. However, support for shale gas extraction must not come at the expense of low carbon technologies.

Gas will have a role to play in space heating in the medium term and it is unlikely that all shale gas would be burned to generate electricity, Ciwem added, but new figures of estimates of shale gas resources suggested if it was to be burned to generate electricity it would represent nearly 30% of the UK’s carbon budget to 2050. 

 

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