Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Australian on shale gas as a game-changer

Today ´s editorial in the Australian is worth citing in its entirety:

POLITICAL parties preoccupied with environmental protection, including the Greens, should take on board the benefits of breakthrough technology that is already allowing easier access to shale gas in the US.
As environment editor Graham Lloyd reports today, with 250 years' worth of gas reserves now in play, the shale revolution is cutting power costs and carbon emissions and increasing energy supplies. In the longer term, it promises energy security, export earnings and stability as the West's dependence on Middle East oil diminishes.
The unexpected emergence of shale, foreseen by very few four or five years ago, underlines the folly of governments trying to "pick winners" by investing in various forms of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, which will only be viable on a large scale if technology improves.
Too little attention has been paid to Australia's vast shale reserves, which are potentially far bigger than coal-seam gas. Apart from the volume of water needed to access it, shale poses fewer environmental problems than coal-seam gas. The geological formations are more stable and located in more remote areas. Given the reluctance of our politicians to pursue nuclear power, shale has the potential to be an important energy source for decades.

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