We read with surprise Daniel Gros’s article “Let the shale-gas revolution pass” (11-17 October). Despite the difference between US and European markets, there remain three key reasons why the EU should pursue shale gas now, rather than let the opportunity pass.
First, hydraulic fracturing is not a new technology. It was first developed in the US inFirst, hydraulic fracturing is not a new technology. It was first developed in the US in the 1940s. In Europe, it has been safely used for the past 40 years to stimulate the flow of water-wells and to make geothermal energy wells commercially viable.
Second, natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel and it is an indigenous resource. It will bring greater security to Europe’s energy supply; not only in Poland. The EU relied on imports for 63.5% of its gas consumption in 2010. The European Commission estimates that this dependency is likely to grow to up to 80% by 2030. Unfortunately, shale gas cannot be substituted with “plentiful conventional gas” because ‘conventional’ gas deposits in Europe are dwindling.
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As Mr Gros says, the “real issue” about shale gas in Europe is not if but when it should be used. However, waiting until the US has depleted its own shale gas resources before we even consider ours, as Mr Gros suggests, will be longer than Europe can afford.
Adviser to Shale Gas Europe