9 Reasons the UK Needs To Abandon Natural Gas
Posted in: Good Energy news
Posted on: 01.03.2017
At Good Energy we see gas as being a transitional fuel towards the ultimate goal of a 100% renewable future. Unfortunately, the UK as a country is currently heavily reliant on this fuel type and will continue to be for the short to medium term.
There is a lot of work that needs to be put into removing natural gas from the UK’s fuel mix – some of which everyone can do themselves at home, others which rely on suppliers and generators.
Our Green Gas is different to normal gas for a few reasons:
- It contains at least 6% bio-methane which is chemically identical to natural gas but can be created and used with less impact on the environment
- Through supporting carefully selected carbon reduction projects in Vietnam, Nepal and Malawi to balance the other carbon emissions our customer use, the gas we supply is completely carbon neutral
- These projects also bring economic, social and health benefits to the local communities, doing real good
Many people believe that the biggest issue we face at the moment is fracking, but the crux of the issue is the gas itself. You can find out more about our Green Gas here.
Here are nine reasons why we believe the UK’s reliance on natural gas needs to end:
#1 It doesn’t create a low carbon system
Natural gas isn’t clean energy. It creates carbon gasses which are contributing towards climate change (regardless of what Donald Trump might say, it does exist). In order to truly tackle climate change we need to move away from burning natural gas altogether.
#2 We don’t want to be locked into long-term reliance on a finite fuel
The thing about fossil fuels is that they won’t be around forever. We can make the choice now to ensure that new pipelines and power stations can use alternative fuels, or we could leave it until later and be forced to look for new solutions… again. We need to carefully consider whether our current plans are compatible with the UK’s commitments to reducing emissions.
#3 The transition needs to start happening now
We believe that the government should invest in more ways to encourage a transition away from natural gas. This could be with stricter building standards that ensure new homes are more efficient and use renewable heat technology or it could be re-purposing the existing gas network to carry bio-methane or hydrogen… just a thought.
#4 We need flexible energy systems to be compatible with a renewable future
At Good Energy we’ve always said that renewables should be a major source of electricity generation in the UK thanks to their advantages over other technologies and the UK’s unique geography, which makes them an ideal fit.
But renewables work best when paired with flexible technologies like storage batteries and demand side response, not relatively inflexible gas power stations. This is a poor investment for our future low carbon energy grid.
#5 There are huge issues with fracking
While they may be fracking in America, we definitely shouldn’t be following their lead – for so many reasons! The UK is small and densely populated with huge geological complexity. This creates massive implications and impending health risks from the fracking process. We need to be worried about the potential escape of chemicals being used and the possibility of contamination of water supplies.
#6 Fracking gas in the UK won’t make gas cheaper
Yep, that’s right. Just because we create more gas in the UK, the rate we pay for it won’t go down. This is because the price of gas is controlled by global and European markets (regardless of whether we’re in the EU or not). The amount of shale gas we can extract here in the UK will not have a noticeable impact on prices at all.
#7 Fracking causes massive damage to the environment
Shale gas is largely methane – a very strong greenhouse gas that’s even worse than carbon dioxide. Not only would fracking cause damage to the landscape through drilling and extraction, but the gasses released from burning, venting, flaring and leaks would cause even further damage to the environment as a whole.
#8 Fracking undermines local democracy and ignores public concerns
In a recent government survey, public support for fracking came in at just 19% in 2016 – compared to 79% who support renewables. Overriding local planning decisions and authorising fracking against the local community’s wishes is unethical and undemocratic.
#9 Fracking will not give the UK energy independence
Having a secure source of energy is important in the transition to a low carbon system but there isn’t enough shale gas in the UK to gain this security through fracking. In fact, if we want to maximise the economic value of energy within the UK, the best plan would be to focus on a more ambitious approach to energy efficiency.
In a study by the Association for the Conservation of Energy, retrofitting more of the UK’s homes to improve their energy efficiency could open up as much as £73 billion in investment, while creating 86,000 jobs a year!
Want to make a real difference?
Switching to Good Energy’s 100% renewable electricity and Green Gas, works on reducing your own personal gas consumption, and can send a huge message to the energy industry and government policies.
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