Shale ‘could provide a third of UK’s gas demand’

A third of Britain’s gas needs could come from shale gas by the early 2030s, according to National Grid. That’s if government policies and economic growth allow companies to invest […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A third of Britain’s gas needs could come from shale gas by the early 2030s, according to National Grid.

That’s if government policies and economic growth allow companies to invest in gas exploration, it said under the ‘Low Carbon Life’ scenario – one of four potential scenarios in its new report published today.

However a failure to invest in UK gas production under the ‘No progression’ scenario could see import dependency rise to 90% by 2035 which would leave the nation vulnerable to price shocks, the grid operator warned.

Imports could reach 71 billion cubic meters every year in that time frame without shale gas output and with limited development of offshore fields.

The Future Energy Scenarios report also found around six million homes could be generating their own heat from domestic heat pumps by 2030 if technology continues to improve and is supported by strong government policy and incentives.

The ‘Gone Green’ scenario shows how “strong and effective” policies can also ensure the UK meets both its current emissions and renewable energy targets for 2020 and new EU targets for 2030, which are currently under discussion.

The report also predicts a boost for the clean tech sectors, with a forecast of more than five million electric vehicles on the nation’s roads by 2035 and almost all cars expected to be electric or hybrid by 2050. It also predicts a national roll-out of LED lighting by 2030.

Richard Smith, Head of Energy Strategy and Policy at National Grid said: “It’s really important that we have an open and transparent discussion about where we get our energy from and how we use it.

“Our Future Energy Scenarios document aims to help that dialogue, presenting a range of holistic, plausible and credible scenarios that can help our customers and stakeholders make informed decisions.”