Shale Gas for Europe
Youtube text: The International Energy Agency (IAEA) is pinning its hopes on gas from shale, with an eye toward meeting the world’s energy needs over the next 100 years. There might be as much as 35 trillion cubic meters of the resource in Europe alone. Test drilling is taking place in Lünne, in the German state of Lower Saxony.But it’s a complex process – and residents are worried about potential environmental damage.
Youtube text: Filmed at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 18th October 2012. This was a Switched On event in partnership with Shell. Event info: Is gas the energy source of the future? Gas is relatively clean (greenhouse emissions are around 50% less than coal) so we’d be doing our bit for the planet. There’s no question there’s plenty of gas in the ground, meaning a greater proportion of our energy could be generated from reliable sources, making us more resilient to political instability, natural disasters and terrorist attacks elsewhere in the world. A cheap, lower-carbon home-grown supply of energy sounds like an ideal solution. But others would argue that this would be just a short-term fix. The price of gas seems set to rise and in any case gas is still a fossil fuel: if we’re serious about combating climate change we need drastic reductions in our emissions and that also means developing the UK’s vast potential for wind, wave and solar power. There are powerful arguments on all these questions. To give voice to them Intelligence Squared, in partnership with Shell, brought together some of the world’s experts — from both sides of the debate — for an evening of discussion on the geology, politics and environmental impact of gas. Youtube text: Germany’s energy transition is underway. Suppliers of renewable energies aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit. The reform is set to be a money-spinner for gas power stations. Unlike solar and wind energy, natural gas-fueled facilities provide a constant power source. If the sun doesn’t shine or the wind fails to blow, then natural gas power stations can step in to bridge the power gap.This flexibility combined with relatively low start-up costs makes them an attractive alternative. It’s a growing market for Siemens. The company has already built a prototype factory for half a billion euros – and it’s the most efficient natural gas power station that’s been built yet. It uses a third less gas, reducing emissions of CO2. The new technology promises to be lucrative for Siemens, but is natural gas really a good energy alternative in the long term? It is a finite resource, and it has to be imported to Germany from abroad. MADE IN GERMANY’s Grit Hofmann takes a look at the energy market.