A recent YouGov survey commissioned by the Sunday Times found that there was a greater support for renewables than gas or coal.
72% of respondents think the UK should be looking to make use of more solar power and 55% said we should be making more use of wind power, whereas less than 1 in 5 want to see an increase in UK gas or coal capacity. This is a vote in confidence for renewables in the UK which we can only hope our politicians reflect in their policy making decisions especially where it comes to the issuing of permits for shale gas extraction.
Shale gas is extracted by drilling boreholes down into the gas-bearing shales, thousands of metres below the surface; drilling may also continue horizontally.
The borehole is lined with a steel and concrete casing.
A ‘perforating gun’ is lowered into the borehole to make small holes in the concrete casing at the depth of the shale target.
A mixture of water, chemicals and sand is pumped — at very high pressure — along the borehole and through the perforations which fracture the shale.
The water opens up cracks in the rock, and the sand grains lodge into the spaces and keep them open, allowing the released gas to flow out of the rocks and to travel back up the borehole casing.
There have been issues with shale gas extraction (fracking) where earth tremors have occurred and land has caught on fire where the gas has leaked up to the surface rather than been extracted via the boreholes.