This report by noted academic experts based at UCL and the Universities of Sussex and Warwick demonstrates how natural gas, including shale gas, can play only a very limited role in meeting the UK's energy needs if the UK is to meet the decarbonisation targets it has already committed to.
The research looked at:
- How much gas use was compatible with meeting emissions reduction targets?
- How this gas use would be affected by the availability (or lack) of carbon capture and storage technologies?
- How long the timeframe for the use of gas might be?
- What potential remained for substituting gas for coal in the UK?
The report concluded:
- Gas can play only a modest role as a bridging fuel in the UK between now and 2020
- Without CCS, there is little scope for gas use in power generation beyond 2030
- The economic logic in investing in new combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power stations is undermined
- A second ‘dash for gas’ could compromise the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions
- The UK lacks a clear vision for the future role of gas
Friends of the Earth Energy campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said:
“This report shows that gas is not a long-term solution to our energy problems. It was written before the Paris agreement – which increased our climate ambitions, and so further reduces any long-term role for gas in the UK.”
“Building more gas-fired power stations, as the Government wants, risks locking us into a high carbon future, making it harder to tackle climate change.”
“The real answer to our energy problems is investing more in renewable power and improving energy efficiency.”