Feeds

Shale ignorance! Lords blast gov for ignoring cool new fuels

And ... we've found John Selwyn Gummer

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Is it time to decouple "Climate Change" from the Department of Energy and Climate Change? If it was the plain old "Department of Energy" again, it might spend more time researching new fuel sources. Two peers last week took aim at the department because its latest energy blueprints are ignoring the potential impact of shale gas.

The government is "re-consulting" (in its own words) on national energy blueprints, also known as the Revised Draft National Policy Statements, up to 2050. But one of the Lords expressed surprise during the gathering that the latest didn't mention shale at all.

"There is the possibility that potentially abundant supplies of unconventional gas will result in considerably lower gas prices," said Lord Reay, continuing:

"The Government apparently cannot find space in several hundred pages of their energy national policy statements to acknowledge the existence of this potentially game-changing development. Gas is now cheap, the price having decoupled from the oil price, and it is going to be accessible in many countries worldwide, not least in Europe. "It emits 50 per cent to 70 per cent less carbon than coal, with the result that when the previous 'dash for gas' took place in the 1990s and gas to some extent took over from coal, our power station carbon emissions fell overall by some 30 per cent."

Indeed, and what's not to like?

"What is the point of persisting with ever-rising subsidies for wind power in order to meet renewable energy targets when abundant, cheap and relatively CO2-clean gas is available?" asked the Scottish peer.

According to Lord Reay, the problem is that any substantial new gas power station now needs to demonstrate "readiness". CCS will require a national grid of pipelines to take the carbon dioxide out to sea... or wherever else they decide to send it.

Lord Jenkin echoed Reay's comments, and wondered why it was omitted from the 2050 blueprints when it was "mentioned in a briefing sent to a number of us last November by the department". This stated, he pointed out that "Additional supplies in the US may now have a limited impact on international gas markets (since it [the US] is now largely self-sufficient), unless the US were able to export some of this gas".

So the department knows it is there. It just doesn't want to investigate it.

In response, Lord Jonathan Marland, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DECC, said: "We welcome shale gas, of course; if it reduces the price of gas, that will be fantastic. There are no signs as yet that the Americans are going to supply it to the outside world, as they are intending at the moment to keep it within their own country, but anything that reduces the price of gas will be of great benefit."

But the US does need not export gas for the UK to benefit, however, since we may be sitting on a substantial shale gas reservoir. Asset management giant The Carlyle Group is backing a planning application to explore shale in Blackpool. There's more on that on the shale blog No Hot Air, here.

Today, pubicly-funded academics at the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester called for a pre-emtive moratorium on shale fuel investment, citing unspecified health concerns and saying the new fuel sources will "increase the risk of entering a period of 'dangerous climate change'"... as well as local issues such as "high levels of truck movements".

Back to the Lords - where the debates's fruitiest remarks came from Lord Deben, the peer formerly known as John Selwyn Gummer.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Next page: Related links

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.