"30. World energy consumption is less than 500 exajoules per year,
equivalent to approximately 500 Tcf [trillion cubic feet]. Thus recoverable shale gas
resources of, say, 8,000 Tcf (i.e., 20-30% of in-place resources)
would last at least a century if their consumption displaced half of
conventional gas use (which is 23% of total energy use). In January
2011 the International Energy Agency raised its estimate of how long
world gas reserves will actually last to quarter of a millennium.
Given the likelihood of other energy sources coming on line long
before then, the energy expert Nick Grealy has said that shale gas may
be essentially eternal".
"44. However, as it became apparent that shale gas was a competitive
threat to renewable energy as well as to coal, the green movement has
turned against shale."
• The concrete, forest clearance and visual impact of more than 50 wind
turbines with equivalent energy output is gigantic by comparison
• Shale gas is now being produced more cheaply
than most conventional gas"
"61. According to the Institute of Energy Research, the cost of
electricity from new plants
designed to open in 2016 from different sources will be approximately
as follows (in dollars
|Coal with CCS
|Gas with CCS
|Gas, combined cycle
"66. Gas versus coal. Given the higher efficiency of gas turbines and
the lower carbon content of gas, burning gas produces only 37% of
carbon dioxide as burning coal for the same electricity output. In
addition, unlike burnt coal, burnt shale gas includes no sulphur
dioxides, no mercury and fewer nitrogen oxides. It requires no surface
mining and mountaintop removal, no tunnelling and ground subsidence
and results in many fewer human fatalities. Gas is piped to customers
rather than transported by congested road or rail. Therefore, while
coal is cheap, it has many environmental externalities, not all of
which are fully priced in. `Clean coal with carbon dioxide emissions
removed would probably be at 9 cents per kilowatt hour roughly
twice as costly as gas for electricity generation, yet have only a slim carbon emission advantage. Gas, because it burns cleaner, is also
more amenable to carbon capture than coal."
" the effect of shale gas has been to decouple the price of
gas from that of oil, with gas prices now much lower per unit of
energy, further pricing oil out of the electricity generating
industry. The same decoupling will happen in the rest of the world
as long term linked oil-and-gas contracts gradually expire. Oil is
effectively priced out of baseload electricity generation for the
"76. Gas is a common feedstock for the chemical industry; so is
ethane, a glut of which is now coming out of shale gas wells as a
byproduct. Thus the shale gas revolution has already begun
to draw chemical companies back to the Gulf of Mexico from the Persian
Gulf, and hand them a competitive advantage. As well as being a fuel,
gas and natural-gas liquids such as ethane are used in the manufacture
of plastic, specialty chemicals, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Shale gas is therefore revitalising the chemical industry wherever it
can be produced.
"87. The dominant fuel in the world fuel mix has gradually shifted
from wood to coal to oil over the past 150 years, with gas the latest
fuel to grow rapidly. At this rate gas may overtake oil as the dominant fuel by 2020 or 2030. The consequence of this succession is
that the carbon-hydrogen ratio in the world fuel mix has been falling
steadily, because the ratio of carbon to hydrogen atoms is about
10-to-1 in wood, 2-to-1 in coal, 1-to-2 in oil and 1-to-4 in gas. On its current trajectory, the average ratio would reach 90% hydrogen in
2060, having been 90% carbon in 1850."