I really enjoyed being in Berlin (or rather Potsdam) last September and presenting this paper to a conference organised by the excellent Friedrich-Naumann Stiftung Fuer die Freiheit – the think tank of the of German Liberal Democrat Party. And full marks to them for having an excellent url www.freiheit.org – i.e. freedom.org !
It’s not fashionable to be optimistic about our energy future but I am and this paper outlines some of the reasons why. There were a lot of thoughtful questions from the audience which I always savour as well. Although I speak German and nothing like as well as I used to, one had to admire that the whole conference was in English as were the questions. Sometimes a speech doesn’t “translate” well to the written word but this one reads well – if I may immodestly say so.
Anyway, here is the paper.
Amazing. You wouldn’t know that in the whole country, all we have are just 4 exploration wells, only one of which has been partially fracked and all of them have been suspended from activity for over 18 months because of 2 tiny tremors that didn’t break a single teacup. Compare that to the USA where roughly, around 35,000 shale gas wells were drilled in the last 10 years and around 105,000 fracks were made. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we wouldn’t need to do anything like that much.
People seem to be focussed on the making of a shale gas well which can be noisy and disruptive for a few weeks and completely ignorant of the total silence thereafter for up to 40 years while it is producing gas straight to the national gas network. Personally, I’d much rather live next to a shale gas well than a wind turbine !
Nevertheless, nearly everyone is very taken with the potential and the safety issues. And having looked at them closely in this paper for the IoD, I was more than convinced that shale gas is not only safe but an economic, environmental and energy security gain too.
Not everyone’s convinced though (and not just Gazprom and President Putin!) – here is a shot from me debating with Caroline Lucas MP of the Green Party on the Daily Politics yesterday on a freezing December afternoon – still on iplayer here about 45 minutes in.
I know, I know, I haven’t updated this site for a long time but here’s a video of me speaking on Sky TV making the case for UK Shale Gas. This comes from a report I recently co-authored for the Institute of Directors where I am an Energy Policy Adviser – all details here and freely downloadable – read it first and decide for yourself.
There really is quite staggering ignorance about the huge scale, environmental and economic benefits of shale gas in the UK – were we to go ahead and use it.
Dear all, forgive me for being a bit remiss in updating this website – I have been concentrating my efforts on www.economicpolicycentre.com, www.future-es.com and www.ukcrimestats.com
Anyway, there are some changes coming shortly to www.danlewis.org because looking at it now, I realise quite a lot of it is out of date and I’m missing a large number of articles that I have written in the recent and distant past.
In the meantime, here is an interview I did at 3 in the morning a few days ago on American Conservative Radio with John Terry – about 40 minutes and despite the early hours, I really enjoyed it. Both my hosts were very easy to talk to – real pros – and we covered the Euro crisis, shale gas, energy security and renewable costs.
It’s a shame we don’t really have talk radio in Britain – over here it’s all about soundbites, quick questions and answers and then it’s over in 3-4 minutes. So it was doubly nice not to be interrupted, be given time to make a point and think of something else on the hoof to say !
Thanks again to American Conservative Nation for inviting me on to their show.
Under the aegis of Future Energy Strategies, I’ve organised an evening seminar on 20th January 2011 which seeks to answer this question, with the help of these three experts – Leigh Bolton of Holmwood Consulting, Nick Grealy of No Hot Air and Dr John Buggenhagen of San Leon Energy plc. To attend, please see here for details – it promises to be a fascinating evening.
In the last 10 days, we’ve had a surprising amount of news about gas that requires some digestion.
Starting with yesterday’s discovery of shale gas near Blackpool by Cuadrilla Resources – the best news that town has had in a long time.
Then there’s the ongoing cold snap in the UK combined with a long acknowledge inadequate storage capability. As I wrote a year ago in Securing Our Energy Future Chapter 3: Don’t Bet on Gas – The UK Way, Continue reading UK Gas supplies – the pace and focus of change is far from enough
Ok, here they are.
I have to say, they look pretty generous to me. I’m going to do some back of the envelope calculations and come back with a new table that shows the yield per technology. As I wrote recently in Utility Week, if we really do get a boom in micro-generation from the 1st April when they come into force, this will not be without problems.
The Global State of Carbon Capture and Storage 2009
A one-stop report for all you need to know on CCS. What is happening, what are the technologies, what are the problems, where are the opportunities?
Read it at Future Energy Strategies