A real alternative to coal and nuclear
Gordon Triggs sees shale gas as an “alternative” to nuclear or coal-fired power stations. (‘Shale gas is the answer’, South Wales Evening Post, 8 March).
Burning coal and other fossil fuels generates carbon dioxide, which contributes significantly to global warming.
Extracting, processing and burning shale gas will create emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Extraction of shale gas involves the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). An average shale gas well requires 3 to 8 million gallons of fresh water over its lifetime. This water is mixed with highly toxic chemicals, producing millions of gallons of poisonous waste that has to be removed and stored for processing.
Given that use of shale gas will only provide a short-term continuation of ‘business as usual’, where our energy supply continues to involve dangerous, destructive and polluting technologies, it’s difficult to understand quite what definition of “alternative” Gordon Triggs is using.
In contrast, renewable energy requires no fuel extraction, generates no pollution and leaves behind no waste.
That sounds like a real alternative to me.
Letter published in today’s Evening Post: ‘Shale gas is no alternative‘