Since the moratorium on fracking was lifted in England over 300 licences have been issued and up to the minute research suggests that the available gas was vastly under estimated. Where that leaves Scotland with no nuclear, no fracking and over priced wind energy with a marine sector still in it’s infancy is an interesting point and the fact that the UK government is envisaging a system of community benefits suggests that the opposition to fracking will decline at the speed that English electricity bills plummet(?) The US saw a 30% decline in energy prices. The fact remains that once the hole is drilled the drill head will fit into a unit little more in size than a shipping container. easy to disguise and easy to insulate against any noise. Just look to the states for examples. A report here. The difference is so marked. Wind has miles of track, thousands of tons of concrete and 400ft white eyesores that are noisy and intrusive. That does not ever tackle the fact that they
are uneconomic, intermittent and rely on subsidies. Gas fracking has a short period of drilling which will be intrusive for a short while. Thereafter the equipment can be landscaped and replanted and the gas runs 24/7/365. Fracking well heads may have a limited life after which they will simply be de-commissioned, capped and disappear. What is true is that the department of Energy must have a set of robust standards with a powerful governing authority with penalties to make the pips squeak, something historically our government does not shine at when dealing with big business but it must be an intrinsic part of the system. Also I would suggest that local Communities must be part of the oversight and be engaged from day one.
The wind industry say gas is a pollutant and creates CO2 but another report here suggests that we actually need to increase our CO2 for plant growth. Certainly modern gas plants are cheaper than the alternatives and very clean. Wind has proven an issue with the disposal of turbine blades so certainly that is not as green as it paints itself. In fact the turbines require large quantities of oil to lubricate the machinery which must be regularly replaced. The generators have a finite life which in many cases in a great deal shorter than the life of the wind turbines. In fact the wind industry reminds me of the little boy who cried wolf. I wonder how many of the investors in the fracking industry will be redirecting their investments from Wind?