UK: Solar Energy and Fracking

Two articles point out the growing benefits from solar and the reasons why fracking talk is ‘pie in the sky.’

Positive gains on the solar front in Europe…

Paweł Czyżak, a senior analyst at the energy and climate thinktank Ember writes, Solar power saved the EU €29bn this summer, ($28.6 billion dollars in potential cost saving of avoided fossil gas imports) as the EU generated a record 12% of its electricity from solar from May to August 2022. Summer solar generation was up by 28% from last year.

Source

Solar share records were broken in 18 out of 27 EU countries. The largest increase in solar generation since 2018 was in Poland, which increased solar generation 26 times, followed by 5-fold increases in Finland and Hungary. 10 EU Member States generated over a tenth of their electricity from solar panels during the summer of 2022. The highest share was in the Netherlands (23%), followed by Germany (19%) and Spain (17%).

Paweł Czyżak, senior analyst at the energy & climate thinktank Ember
Then there’s the ‘pie in the sky’ fracking talk in the UK…

In a CarbonBrief article, Factcheck: Why fracking is not the answer to the UK’s energy crisis, Daisy Dunne and Josh Gabbatiss write:

UKOOG has told MPs that if just 10% of England’s estimated shale gas resources were extracted, it would make the UK “self-sufficient in natural gas for 50 years”. This is a commonly cited figure emanating from a 2013 British Geological Survey (BGS) study, which has since been debunked by scientists from the same institution. Their more recent analysis suggests the true “maximum” amount of shale gas available is about 10 times lower than the earlier estimate.

CarbonBrief | September 9, 2022
After following shale gas fracking in the United States for 14 years, I would ask these questions:
  • Would fracked UK gas end up on the global market and see the same skyrocketing prices as Pennsylvania?
  • With a gathering pipeline to every gas well site, are you ready for the risks and landscape scars from pipelines?
  • Fracking requires massive volumes of water, so where will it come from and how will it get to the well site?
  • Flowback & produced water from fracked wells can be toxic, even radioactive, how do you safely dispose of it?
  • Heavy traffic to well sites is often the number one complaint, are your roads and citizens up to the wear and tear?
  • Fracking is a 24-7 process, what will that do to once peaceful country sides?
  • Is the money worth it, especially if your ground water and well water is ruined?
This is what fracking looked like ten years ago over the Marcellus Shale:

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