At present in the UK we are importing over half of our gas from overseas and by 2030, this is forecast to increase to nearly 80%.
Renewables, whilst an important and growing share of the electricity market, cannot meet all of the UK’s short-term energy needs and around a third of the UK’s electricity is still generated from gas.
Over 80% of UK homes are heated by gas and over 61% of homes rely on gas for cooking. We will continue to need significant supplies of gas for decades to come.
Gas in the North Sea is fast depleting which is why we are increasingly importing more. This is costly, increases our reliance on other gas suppliers abroad and is worse for the environment. So finding a new indigenous source of gas is crucial to our energy security.
The UK uses approximately three trillion cubic feet of gas a year. The British Geological Survey, in association with the Oil & Gas Authority, reported in 2013 a mid-level estimate of the gas-in-place in the Bowland shale across the North of England to be 1,329 trillion cubic feet.
Therefore shale gas exploration is an important national imperative which, if exploration results are successful, could help secure the future energy needs of the UK.
If we don’t act by 2030
of EU gas supplies will have to come from either long-distance pipeline or LNG-exporting nations, like Russia