Friday, 12 July 2013 11:23

Boris and shale fever

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While most in the process sector have welcomed the UK government's belated backing for shale gas, some engineers now see a need to manage expectations of some of the more enthusiastic converts.

For example, in a recent letter to The Times, London mayor Boris Johnson promised to ‘leave no stone unturned or unfracked’ if shale gas is found in London.

In response, though, David Symons, director at consultancy WSP, which has international shale experience, suggested that Boris was getting a bit carried away with the shale fever:

"Although oil has been found in many areas across southern England – from the Weald basin to even some small finds in north London - the reality is that shale gas is a new science and there’s still considerably uncertainty on where the resources are and whether they are economically viable to extract, " said Symons.  

“Rather than big sweeping statements the Mayor could do much better to focus on the elements in the 2020 Vision that are in his control, such as making London a leader in energy efficiency." 

"The Vision, quite rightly, commits to retrofitting every badly insulated home in the city – as a way to save energy and be ‘a formidable creator of employment.’ 

Making London the leader in energy efficiency is far more practical and far more deliverable than big rhetoric which inspires passion but little else.”

Fair comment, I suppose, but the question still remains about how cities like London set about tapping into shale and other energy resources – especially given all the uncertainties over power supply in the years ahead.

Read 3882 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 07:05