Shale gas ‘key to filling UK power supply gap’

Shale gas is key to filling the UK’s power supply gap by 2020. That’s according to a study by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS). It stated current oil and gas […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Shale gas is key to filling the UK’s power supply gap by 2020.

That’s according to a study by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS).

It stated current oil and gas prices “should not be an excuse” to delay the development of shale gas in the country.

Daniel Mahoney, Head of Economic Research told ELN: “Probably what we would like to see is the roll out of shale gas by the 2020s. If there’s no shale gas development for 2030 we would be importing about 75% of our gas. So obviously from an energy security perspective it’s important that we get shale gas going and prepare the ground by the 2020s.”

The comment follows a report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers which stated the UK could face a power supply gap of 55% by 2025.

The CPS study revealed although gas prices are low they have not declined in the same level as oil prices. In fact they are expected to increase in the next few years, according to the report.

Mr Mahoney admitted shale gas would be a “potential opportunity” to cover the 26GW of new gas required by 2030 as estimated by DECC.

The report stated: “Reducing the UK’s reliance on gas imports would also be beneficial in terms of security of supply. In 2003, the UK was a net exporter of gas – exporting 8m tonnes of oil equivalent – but in 2015 the UK imported 29 million tonnes of oil equivalent, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.”

Mr Mahoney believes the main barrier to frack in the UK is local councils and referring to the Cuadrilla case, he said agreed the government should take the final decision.