Shale Gas versus Renewables

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We at SAAEA see shale gas as simply another fossil fuel.

Introducing another dirty technology in the form of yet another fossil fuel, shale gas, is a step in the wrong direction!


Renewable energy is an increasingly practical and highly promising option. Costs are falling – and are likely to fall even further as innovation accelerates and global energy demand continues to rise.

Wind, solar and geothermal, are in some circumstances already cost-competitive – or nearly cost-competitive – with fossil fuels.

The jury is still out on the amount of environmental damage caused by the extraction of shale gas and by the volume of climate-changing methane gas released during the process.

Renewables could meet up to 77% of the global primary energy supply by 2050. If the renewable sector expands in this way, then the world could keep greenhouse-gas concentrations to less than 450ppm – the level that scientists stipulate will keep the dangerous and enduring effects of climate change at bay.

The extraction of yet another fossil will lead to a net increase in emissions. If the government is committed to meeting its climate change targets then it should consider the role of shale gas when compared to genuinely low carbon and renewable energy sources.

And renewables – unlike shale gas – are inexhaustible. Wind and solar energy – unlike shale gas – emits no carbon dioxide, no methane and has next to no environmental impact.

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