Opinion Former Article

IET fracking comment

Simon Harrison, Chair of the IET Energy Policy Panel, said: “The decision to allow fracking near the village of Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire will undoubtedly see fresh debate on shale gas extraction, or ‘fracking’.

“A joint report from the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering revealed no technical reasons not to frack in the UK – but does identify some critical issues to address.  Principal of these is the need for coordination and policing of appropriate regulation to ensure that the environmental and social impacts of fracking in the UK are understood and kept to a minimum.

“We will not know for several years how much shale gas there is under the UK and whether it is suitable for exploitation. It is also worth noting that shale gas obtained by fracking is more expensive than conventional gas – and in the UK its final price will be determined by the European gas market. This means that energy prices for the consumer are unlikely to fall significantly as a result of UK fracked gas.

“Shale gas has some potential to increase energy security, but will only bring climate change benefits if it is used instead of coal. If it is used to displace imported gas there will be no climate change benefits at all.”


Notes to editors:

§  Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.

§  The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 167,000 members in 150 countries. It is also the most interdisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.

§  The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.

§  We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.

§  For more information, visit www.theiet.org

§  Follow the IET on Twitter.

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