IoD consultation response: Energy and Climate Change Committee – shale gas

26 September 2012

The Institute of Directors is grateful for the opportunity to respond to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee’s call for evidence on the impact of shale gas on energy markets. This is an issue of great interest to our members and to UK business more generally. We hope you find our comments useful.

General comments

On 21 September 2012, the IoD published a report, Britain’s shale gas potential, which can be found here http://www.iod.com/Influencing/Press-Office/Press-releases/British-shalegas- could-create-35000-jobs-reduce-carbon-emissions-and-lower-energy-prices.

The IoD’s overall view can be summarised as follows:

  • The UK has a major opportunity to develop a cheap and reliable domestic source of energy, creating jobs, reducing the need for gas imports and improving the environment by replacing coal in electricity generation. Shale gas will not solve all our problems, but it can be an important part of the energy mix.
  • Cheap gas-fired turbines powered by UK shale resources could also prove to be the perfect complement to renewable generation, providing power when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.
  • The risks of hydraulic fracturing should be viewed alongside those of conventional oil and gas extraction. Provided industry best practice is followed, and strong regulation and monitoring are in place to enforce this, fracking should be permitted to proceed.
  • Overall, we should be enthusiastic about developing a new domestic source of energy.

IoD response to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee’s call for evidence on the impact of shale gas on energy markets