Currently the UK imports gas via pipelines from Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway. Additionally liquefied natural gas comes in by tankers, soon to be greatly extended by the Centrica deal with the USA to import their shale gas.
The UK does still have some gas available from the North and Irish Seas, but that is fast diminishing.
So it seems perverse to me to continue with all these imports when so much is potentially obtainable hereto the benefit of the UK’s Balance of Payments and employment, as well as energy security. Perhaps the protesters are really out to ban the use of gas wherever it has come from.
I mused on the effect that would have. I would need to replace my fairly newly installed and efficient gas boiler, the gas cooker and gas fire – not that old either, by an alternative system.
I wonder what change I might get out of £10,000. I’ve already spent £8,000 on photovoltaic panels. The house walls have their cavities filled with insulation. The roof is well insulated too, and the windows are double-glazed.
Unlike in the 1960s when the then nationalised British Gas adapted or replaced appliances for free to allow them to use North Sea gas, can we expect the privatised energy companies to do likewise? I think not. And this is regardless of the cost of replacements in industry and commerce.
I see a need to continue with the use of gas and, ideally gas from the UK, for quite a while – 2030 was suggested by the Department of Energy’s Chief Scientific Officer.
The industry is already regulated under the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and Department of Energy and Climate Change. UKOOG, the representative body for the UK Onshore Oil and Gas industry, has had detailed consultations with the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, drawing up recommendations that will no doubt result in further regulations ensuring that all fracking in the UK is done safely. Some are already incorporated into the recently passed Infrastructure Act.
I am not worried about fracking on my doorstep, indeed I see it as a necessity.
Chris A Butlin
Sutton Upon Derwent