The main downside is water quality effects, and a lot of energy is used to liberate the gas such that it may be as carbon intensive as coal. It now gone main stream in terms of media.
Matt Ridley, esteemed science writer (The Red Queen, The Origins of Virtue, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters, Nature via Nurture, Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code, and most recently The Rational Optimist), turns his prodigious writing talent to a short booklet on the prospects for shale gas to remake the energy landscape: The Shale Gas Shock.
At Knowledge Problem, we’ve covered bits and pieces of the shale gas story and the policy and market consequences, but now you can get a current, thoughtful and well-written assessment from Ridley. Among other things, he addresses resource estimates, costs, shale gas skepticism, environmental concerns, and effects on electric power, transport fuel, and other markets. It is an excellent overview and introduction to the topic for the general public and (especially) folks in the public policy community.
Ridley also had a column on this topic in The Times which appeared earlier this week.
Matt Ridley writing up the shale gas shock
Fri, 06 May 2011 13:40:16 GMT