Shale gas frees Europe from addiction to Putin's Pipe
Vlad won't be able to turn the heating off any more
Shale gas extraction in Western Europe will dramatically change the geopolitical landscape, according to a report by a think-tank backed by the US Department of Energy. The Baker Institute estimates that with shale as little as 13 per cent of Europe's gas imports will come from Russia by 2040, compared to 27 per cent today.
The European Union gets 80 per cent of its gas imports from Russia via the Ukraine. Russian's state energy company, Gazprom, has used its gas exports as a political weapon: most recently turning off the tap to the Ukraine, which affected some European countries as collateral damage. Bulgaria and parts of the former Yugoslavia were badly hit in the Ukraine spat. And it is pertinent to the UK, which is making a unique dash for unreliable renewable energy sources: these need rapidly responding backup. That is a need best filled by gas, although it is extremely expensive to build gas backup to wind, and the backup stations cannot negotiate lower prices.
Venezuela and Iran will also be a bit less cocky, the report suggests.
The Baker Institute also welcomes shale for lowering both domestic energy prices and "the cost of initiatives to diversify the American automobile fleet to run on non-oil based fuels such as electricity and compressed natural gas". The lower prices come from weakening demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Middle East.
There's more here (60-page PDF/6.8MB): the scenario planning is well worth a look. ®
The other part of the solution is to use what we do have a lot more efficiently.
The gov't here seem to be ignoring the fact there are a host of small companies developing micro-generators that are able to produce very high levels of efficiency.
Notably the Bluegen machine that is able to produce achieve 60% efficiency burning gas (upto 85% if you use the hot water byproduct)
Look on the bright side!
Surely it's better than using relatively cheap, reliable energy from those evil nuclear power plants. Wouldn't you rather sit in the dark with a candle during one of the rolling blackouts your future holds in store for you, or perhaps shiver in some blankets because gas is too expensive, than commit a cardinal sin of environmentalism?
Yet More Irresponsible Reporting
Oh well - another irresponsible article re energy. Shale gas, like most "new energy technologies" are simply hot air dreams.
When will people eventually wake up and realise that weve gone past peak oil and peak gas is almost here and that WE REALLY should just get used to the fact that we all need to use MUCH LESS energy and start to engage and educate society in this matter - quickly.
We simply do not have enough Oil and Gas energy reserves left to fuel the industry required to construct and build, on the necessary global industrial scale needed, any "new tech power generation" of the future.
We did have, but that was back in the 1970's and we chose to turn a blind eye to it all and have a 35 year holiday on the back of cheap north sea oil and gas here in the UK, racking up debt and enjoying the illusion of wealth that artifical cheap oil prices afforded us. Well hello..... its all over now. Oh and this time there going to be no magic cheap energy supply to kick start any form of economic recovery either.
There is only one true renewable clean energy in abundance on this planet and its SOLAR - and we dont have enough oil and gas reserves left to even think about building enough solar PV/Thermal panels to a high enough efficiency spec to get that wokring to keep pace with the demand required by our current society.
So get used to using less, much less energy and pretty quickly.