The UK has long seen efforts to take advantage of the geological assets that these islands possess. This dates from lead and gold mining in Roman times, to the mechanisation of deep mining for coal that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution and, more recently, the opportunities for oil and gas extraction from the North Sea. It is only right that any nation, or region, should seek to assess the best use of its natural resources for the current and future wellbeing of its people.
Today, what we now consider ‘best use’ is changing from an approach that sought to maximise extraction (or use) for economic gain to one that recognises extraction has impacts on the locality and on the wider environment.
This short paper, prepared on behalf of the Northern Energy Taskforce , considers what might be described as the next generation of geological resource technologies, i.e. Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS), and Shale Gas recovery through fracking. In the paper we consider the relative merits of both technologies from an economic point of view but also bear in mind their potential impacts upon our future emissions and our legislative ambitions to decarbonise the whole of the UK economy