“Natural gas is a very bad idea.”
That was the reaction of a leading US energy analyst, who said in an article for The Economist that gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing could be “the last great global technology boom”.
“Natural resources are now under a great deal of stress,” said Dr Nick Schoenfeld, a professor of energy policy at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Centre for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
“Gas is the ultimate in ‘greenwashing’ and it’s a great example of what can happen when you try to build a new technology that is already here.”
The Economist has previously warned that the fracking boom could destabilise the global energy market.
“There’s a real risk of the US and other countries going over the edge into a crisis that will result in a crash,” said Schoenfield.
In his latest piece, Schoenfeels, whose research focuses on natural gas and its impact on the environment, said natural gas should be viewed as “a major source of CO2 emissions, and therefore of climate change”.
“The fact that gas is currently in the process of being developed and the fact that it’s going to be more expensive and more expensive as we know, does indicate that we’re headed for a very large-scale natural gas industry,” he said.
Natural gas, in particular, is being used to generate electricity at an accelerating pace in many countries.
In Australia, the country’s largest electricity provider, natural gas generated almost 20 per cent of its power in 2017.
Natural Gas: What It Is and How Much It Affects the Environment is published by The Economist.
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