By MICHAEL REED and ALEXANDER PICARDERMANAssociated PressReutersAUSTRALIA, Texas (AP) Britain’s energy industry is celebrating a big summer, but not for the reasons you might expect.
The shale gas surge that has sent the price of oil soaring to $100 a barrel has helped prop up the sector, and the U.N. agency that oversees the global greenhouse gas (GHG) market is warning the U:s could lose its top climate change chief.
That’s good news for the British government, which has pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s also good news to the U, which will need to cut its own greenhouse gas output to meet its target to reduce its emissions by 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.UK’s government, for its part, is hoping to tap into this growth by increasing shale gas exploration in Britain.
Its government-funded shale gas program has already produced the world’s largest natural gas deposit, with a potential area of nearly 9,500 square miles.
“This is a very, very big investment for the government, and it’s going to create a lot of jobs and provide jobs for local communities,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a televised interview Wednesday.
“We’re going to be able to deliver a good deal of investment in the country.”UK is not alone in the U., where natural gas production has been on the rise.
Canada, France and Germany have all announced plans to explore for shale gas.
China has announced plans for exploration in its eastern province of Xinjiang, which is home to Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group.
Japan has begun drilling exploratory wells in the eastern Pacific and is eyeing a potential offshore lease.
The U.R. environment agency has been trying to keep the price on natural gas in line with the cost of fossil fuels, and its chief, Paulo Goulart, told a conference in Vienna that the industry could help push carbon emissions down by around 10 percent from 2005 levels.
But there’s a downside to shale gas production: It could have a bad effect on the climate.
Shale gas is a gas that is formed when water from the surface of the Earth’s crust condenses and is transported deep underground.
It is very similar to coal, but it is a relatively clean source of energy because it comes from natural gas.
Shale gas has many environmental benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas pollution and the ability to capture carbon dioxide and methane.
But the natural gas boom has also created more methane and other greenhouse gases than it has taken out of the atmosphere.
The world has been emitting about one ton of CO2 per year for the past two decades, with much of that coming from burning fossil fuels.
That could be reversed if gas is used more efficiently.
A study published last year by the U-M Labor School at the University of Michigan estimated that if shale gas were to replace coal for electricity generation and transportation, it could reduce greenhouse gas intensity by about 4.5 percent compared with current technology.
The problem is that it’s not clear that the shale gas will be a reliable fuel for the economy, said William M. Hahn, a professor of energy policy at Duke University who studies energy transitions.
Hahn said he has been working on his own energy transition model for a number of years, and he believes that the benefits of natural gas are outweighed by the potential costs.
“If shale gas becomes a reliable energy source, then it may well be that it will not be a source of reliable energy for decades to come,” Hahn said.
A recent U.A.E. conference on shale gas in Vienna found that the United Kingdom is already the largest market for shale, and many European nations are considering joining.
“Shale is a highly disruptive technology, and in some respects, it is the most important one in the world right now,” said David Cottrell, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
But if shale is to be a truly disruptive energy source in the future, it will require massive investment in new technology, which he said is difficult to justify right now.
Hohn said it is possible that shale gas could be used for power generation, but he said it would be expensive.
“It would be hard to justify the investment, and I think that would be very difficult for the public,” he said.
“The big question is when will we have to stop buying coal?
It will be interesting to see what happens.”