Archive for ‘Fracking’


20
FEB

Lets Get Energized says:
Fracking & Better Energy Solutions – Talk in Bridport Dorset, 12th March


Category: Climate Change, Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking, Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , ,


fracking-bridport

Fracking & Better Energy Solutions

Talk by Charles Miller
Thursday 12 March 2015

Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start
Bridport Town Hall, Dorset

Admission FREE

West Dorset Friends of the Earth group are delighted to invite you to this interesting and informative talk regarding fracking, presented by Charles Miller.

With twenty-five years experience in the oil industry worldwide, Charles Miller gives a brief outline of the Energy Crisis. He will then explains the problems with Fracking and safer and sustainable Energy solutions that other countries are choosing instead of Fracking, to protect their citizens and countryside and to keep energy bills from rising.

There will be time for your questions at the end of the talk.

We hope to see you there.



15
AUG

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Anaerobic Digestion for Gas – not Fracking


Category: Biomass Energy, Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Fracking, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , ,


Anaerobic Digestion for Gas – not Fracking

We need to give installation of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant our strong support as the counter-balance to our opposition of fracking. Both produce methane gas that can be injected to the gas grid to heat homes and businesses as well as generating electricity in quick start up power plant that can be used to balance intermittent renewables. Obviously biogas from AD is preferable.

British Gas estimate 50% of UK gas needs could be met from waste and there is a lot plant being installed at the moment such as this http://www.nextgenmedia.co.uk/news/1373-4-5m-anaerobic-plant-plans-for-malt-supplier

No one seems to have calculated how much could be produced from farm integrated AD plant but perhaps it could produce the other 50%. The big one at Poundbury (info: here) produces up to 80% of West Dorset’s gas needs from just six farms growing grass and maize on a 4 year crop rotation between cereal crops.

The solid digestate looks and smells similar to horse plop and is used for the cereal crops as an alternative to inorganic fertilisers. It is slow release and an excellent soil improver. On livestock farms, part of the motivation to install AD is to process the animal waste to produce a high quality digestate to spread on the land as a replacement to the raw animal dung which can pollute nearby water courses in some weather conditions. AD plant should be seen as an integral part of efficient British agriculture making it more sustainable, more organic, more productive.

Grass grows exceptionally well in the damp UK climate and is the ideal feedstock for AD. Rather than leave cuttings on the ground. we could divert cuttings from road verges, sports fields, parks and any area where a less fertile soil is the aim (so that wild flowers compete better with the grass)to AD plant.

We should not forget that renewable gas is almost as important as renewable electricity.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "Thanks John for joining the debate on these pages. You are very welcome. I agree quantification is the best way to reach an idea of what is possible. Looking at the statistics from DECC 700 TWh is a reasonable estimate of 2014/2015 UK gas demand. However, we must take into account ongoing reduction in gas demand from electricity generation as more and more renewable electricity generation comes on line. It was a modest 1% reduction in 2013 but our present government, with its destabilising influence on renewable electricity due to wild changes in tariff levels and licensing costs and ease (or not) of gaining planning consent, is holding back installation of renewables. With proper stable backing, renewables, let of the leash, could rocket. So let’s hope for a diminished Conservative influence in the next government. Poundbury produces 0.004 Twhy which would mean 86,000 Pounbury sized plants in the UK (or 1000 per UK county) to meet the 344 TWhy domestic gas consumption. I agree this is probably not realistic but think your estimate of 20 TWhy ceiling (or 5,000 Poundbury sized AD plant) for the UK is also not accurate. I still maintain that with falling gas demand due to better insulated and better constructed houses following the 2016 improvement to building regulations, roll out of solar thermal and wood heat and much reduced demand to generate electricity, AD could meet a much higher proportion of UK gas demand than anyone is currently predicting. I admit I can’t quantify the potential accurately yet because AD to gas grid is at the first stage of development. However, I believe continued use of slowly declining extraction of North Sea gas along with rapid expansion of AD gas, big improvements in energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation can see us through without the need for fracked gas. Like nuclear power, fracking carries low probability but high impact risks that are just not worth taking. Keith Wheaton-Green "
    August 19, 2014 a 12:58 pm

  • John Baldwin comments:
    "Biomethane is great and Poundbury has been a success, helping 20 projects that are being built this year. But realistic max Biomethane is 20 TWh/Annum…..total gas consumption is 700 TWh so we need to import lots of gas Qatar LNG is very high GHG and forecast to cost £10 billion/Annum in 2025….that’s a lot of money, if we can produce this gas in UK we will have £7 billion tax…..to fund renewables and insulation "
    August 16, 2014 a 3:20 pm


08
JUL

Erik Blakeley says:
Fracking or Wind Turbines


Category: Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Fracking or wind turbines?

Which would you choose?

I oppose fracking. My main reason for doing so is that I fear that fracking is being used as the means to put off developing our plentiful and clean renewable potential simply because it makes it easier for the Chancellor to generate a boom and bust economic recovery that will get him re-elected next year and perhaps in another 5 years time at the expense of a sustainable recovery and meaningful reductions in green house gas emissions. This is enough to make me oppose fracking. However there are lots of other reasons suggested for opposing fracking. Lots of frightening stories are out there on the internet. The problem is how to assess which risks are significant enough to be worth considering which is even harder than sorting the facts from the falsehoods. As a campaigner for renewables and therefore against fracking it is tempting to point out that some of the chemicals used in fracking in America are carcinogens and can have other toxic effects and fracking has been accused of causing earthquakes or of releasing natural gas into water supplies to the extent that gas escaping from domestic taps can be lit with a cigarette lighter. However it is not clear how comparable the fracking process in Britain would be to that use in America and, cynic though I am, I do still suspect that any use of the technique would be better regulated here than in the cowboy environment of the fracking industry of America. So it is hard to tell just how bad fracking would be for its potential neighbours in Britain. If you want to see the worst case scenario for fracking see this site: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/14/fracking-hell-live-next-shale-gas-well-texas-us

Perhaps a better approach is to ask ourselves how is it likely to compare with the alternatives? We do need to do something. Our energy infrastructure is wearing out and will not meet the needs of the 21st Century. If we ignore the ethical element we might get away with being NIMBYs and expect others to put up with things that we want the benefits from but don’t want to see near us but we cannot be BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). The obvious alternative is wind turbines. Scare stories abound about noise and flicker and the amounts of concrete used in their foundation and of course there is the subjective aesthetic question of visual amenity. Now I have done much more research into the realities of the issues relating to wind turbines than I have into fracking and my conclusion is that every issue except the subjective question of visual impact is either grossly over stated by the antis or even absolutely untrue and that, when you are talking about small wind farms of less than ten turbines sited 500m or more from the nearest houses the visual impact is very much dependent on how much of a Victor Meldrew you let yourself become by staring at the turbines and winding yourself up into a froth about them. I truly believe that you have every reason to ignore them because they won’t do you any harm. It would be unfair of me therefore to suggest that you believe all the very worst stories about fracking and reject all the ones about wind turbines even though I believe that there is much more truth behind the fracking stories than the turbine myths (can you detect my bias there??!).

So what can we say for certain. Developing a fracking field involved months of heavy industrial work during which a great deal of noise and dust is created and millions of gallons of fracturing fluid will need to be tankered in or made up on site using local water resources and more concentrated chemicals which may or may not be a significant risk to you but certainly would not be something you would like to see spilled into your local stream if one of the many tankers was to have a crash. Most of the fracking fluid will come back to the surface via the bore hole and will need to be stored onsite until it can be tankered out again for safe disposal or reprocessing/recycling at another well. Part of the job of the fluid is to corrosively attack the rock the stop the cracks closing up again. This means that the fluid will return to the surface loaded with dissolved minerals. Now this might well not be the sort of thing you would bottle and sell as a health tonic as it is likely to include heavy metals in much the same way as the acid mine water does that has sterilized many a stream in Yorkshire or Wales. With the best will in the world I do believe that losses from storage lagoons and tanks will occur and sure, the firms will be fined by the Environment Agency etc, but only after the event when your environment is polluted.

Once the well heads are in place there will probably still need to be storage tanks on site and there may well be the requirement for periodic refracturing when the whole fluid insertion and pressurisation process will need to be repeated.

In comparison the building of a wind farm of 6 turbines is a minor inconvenience. Each turbine requires a concrete foundation equivalent to about 6 modern family homes and once they are in place the structure of the turbine itself can be erected in a single day especially if road links to the site are reasonable and it can be brought in largely prefabricated. Power electronics for the farm about the size of a single lorry container gather the electricity from the individual turbines and feed it into underground cables that connect into the 11kV mains at the sort of transformer station that you will already have in your village or community. Thereafter they run extremely quietly and require relatively low levels of maintenance for years of clean electricity generation.

In conclusion my main objection to fracking is because of the implications for the long term energy policies of our country but I am also in no doubt whatsoever, 100% certain etc etc that I would choose a wind farm in my back yard over a fracking site any day of the year but will I get the chance to choose? Of course I won’t. As long as the government thinks it can make a quick buck to boost GDP and it calculates that the anti-wind turbine campaigners are active in more marginal rural constituencies than the anti-fracking campaigners are they will push ahead with fracking in just the same way as 12 new nuclear power plants will be pushed through because it is a flaw in the democratic system that the unreasonable objections of 100 constituencies to wind turbines outvote the reasonable objections of 12 constituencies to nuclear expansion.

Localism is all very well but is must go hand in hand with a sense of the bigger picture. We can all share in the benefits of dispersed generation by renewables but we must all accept a little of something in our back yard unless we want to take our chances in the fracking and nuclear lotteries and condemn our grandchildren to suffer the longer term consequences.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I was going to suggest that you also put your blog on the DART websie but on investigation discover that they have no blog section! Presumably they don’t want to encourage discussion but simply appear as the font of all knowledge. "
    July 10, 2014 a 2:04 pm


22
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
Stop the Fracking – Lyme Regis


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
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Stop the Fracking Event in Lyme Regis on 26th of April

On the 26th of April 201 4 our friends at Frack Free Dorset will be in Lyme Regis (in the High Street) helping the Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace with their street stall, raising awareness of the dangers of fracking.

They will be using the new FoE fracking campaign materials and the existing Greenpeace WrongMove materials.

The Stall will start about 10am until probably 1pm depending on weather and public response.

Frack Free Dorset welcome any supporters to come along and help – even half an hour would be good, as, in their words, “it`s our county under threat after all”



14
APR

Jacob Windsor says:
Britons favour onshore wind over fracking 3 to 1


Category: Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas, Wind Power
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frackfree

UK government accused of ignoring own research on energy policy.

The majority of people in Britain would prefer to live near a wind farm than a fracking site, new YouGov research commissioned by Ecotricity revealed today.

When given the choice, 62% said they would rather have a wind farm in their local council area than a fracking site, with just 19% preferring to have fracking nearby.

The research comes as Ecotricity founder Dale Vince today accused the Government of contradicting its own research on public attitudes to onshore wind.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been conducting its own Public Attitudes Tracking Survey since July 2012 – with the latest results showing that 64% support onshore wind, with only 28% of people supporting fracking in the UK.

But while both polls reflect a continued public preference for onshore wind over fracking, the Government is reportedly preparing pre-election promises to the contrary, with generous tax breaks and planning short cuts for fracking – while potentially bringing the development of onshore wind energy to an end.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “You have to ask why the Government is ignoring the results of its own surveys on both wind energy and fracking – they are actively going against public opinion on both issues. If Cameron and the Conservatives believe that wind energy is worth opposing because it is unpopular, who do they think it is unpopular with? The Government’s own polling clearly shows that they can’t be thinking about the general population.

“What level of approval does wind power need in order to shape the Prime Minister’s energy policy? Wind currently has a higher approval rating than Cameron has himself. The Prime Minister would kill for the level of public approval wind energy has currently, but unfortunately Britain has a very undemocratic approach to energy policy at the moment: wind power will be under attack from Eric Pickles for another 12 months leading up to the election, which will allow the Government to ignore planning experts and public opinion in its ongoing attack on onshore wind.”

Reports suggest that the Government is to offer greater commitment to solar and offshore wind at the expense of onshore wind, while the attack on onshore wind continued last week as the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, announced an extension to a special planning policy enabling him to call-in and make personal decisions on renewable energy projects for another 12 months.

Dale continued: “Sacrificing onshore wind for offshore wind and solar makes no economic sense, especially in these times of austerity and cuts. Onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy available to us; large solar projects cost bill payers 50% more per unit of energy made, while offshore wind costs 100% more than onshore.

“We need all three forms of renewables for our long term energy security, and keeping onshore wind in the mix keeps the overall cost of green energy down. It’s illogical to pay more for green energy than you need to – and this from a government that only recently blamed the cost of supporting green energy for the rising price of our nation’s energy bills.

“Government policy on this issue makes no sense, whether you measure it by public opinion, financial cost or the energy security. It only makes sense if you see it as political manoeuvring, or perhaps an attempt to minimise the electoral threat posed by UKIP. But we need an energy policy driven by facts not politics, working in the long-term interest of our country – and that would have to incorporate onshore wind.”

Highlights from Ecotricity research

Wind power preferred over fracking
62% said they would rather have a wind farm in their local council area than a fracking site, with just 19% preferring to have fracking nearby.

Wind more popular than fracking amongst supporters of all four parties
Conservatives: 50% chose wind, 33% chose fracking, 17% did not know
Labour: 76% chose wind, 9% chose fracking, 14% did not know
Lib Dem: 78% chose wind, 14% chose fracking, 8% did not know
UKIP: 41% chose wind, 36% chose fracking, 24% did not know

Fracking is more popular with the older generation
Of those that favour fracking over wind, 29% are over 60, while only 12% are 18-24

Fracking less popular with women than men
9% of women would prefer a fracking site compared to 68% preferring wind
29% of men would prefer a fracking site compared to 56% preferring wind

About Ecotricity

Ecotricity was founded in 1995 as the world’s first green energy company and now powers over 100,000 homes and businesses from a growing fleet of wind and sun parks. Ecotricity is a ‘not-for-dividend’ enterprise that, on average, invests more per customer in building new sources of green electricity than all other energy companies in Britain put together.

Ecotricity is the only energy company that has pledged to be shale gas ‘frack-free’, now and forever. Ecotricity will never invest in or buy shale gas from fracking to supply to customers.

Switch to Ecotricity online at www.ecotricity.co.uk/dorset-energized or call on 08000 302 302 and quote ‘Dorset Energized’ and you will also receive a free £60 Naked Wines voucher.



17
MAR

Jacob Windsor says:
Ecotricity Reach 100,000 Customers & Freeze Green Energy Prizes til October


Category: Fracking, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy Film/Video
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Ecotricity have got some good news: you may remember that last September we announced that we would be freezing our prices, over winter, until 1st April.

We’re now announcing a further price freeze, through the spring and summer, until 1st October 2014.

With this extended freeze, we won’t have increased prices for 21 months – meaning we’ll have the longest period of price stability in the energy industry. Our single electricity and gas tariffs are as stable as a fixed price deal, but without any strings – no exit fees, no penalties, and our best price for everyone, regardless of when they joined or how they choose to pay.

The other good news is that on Wednesday last week we reached 100,000 customers!

It’s a very big milestone, and one we’ve had in our sights for some time – nearly 50,000 people have joined us since last summer, which is quite incredible.

It all began last summer when we moved to a single 100% green tariff for electricity, reduced our prices slightly as part of a new policy to cost less than the Big Six, and then froze prices twice over the following winter.

Our two pieces of news are linked. With 100,000 customers we have some economies of scale and – coupled with it being a very good year for wind – we’re able to absorb those of our costs that are rising, and keep yours where they are. Our investment in new sources of green energy hasn’t just insulated us from fossil fuel price movements, because the cost of wind doesn’t go up – but when the wind blows well we have an additional benefit – which we’re keen to share with our customers.

People Power in Action

Our mission is to change where Britain’s energy comes from – to bring about energy independence and sustainability. The more customers we have, the more new sources of green energy we can build, the more we can protect our customers from price rises. It’s a virtuous circle, and it’s People Power in action.

Speaking of People Power, have a look at our latest short film about fracking – we’ve put this together to lend support to local communities opposed to shale gas fracking and to highlight the fact that many British households are inadvertently supporting shale gas through their energy bills.

You can switch to Ecotricity online at www.ecotricity.co.uk/dorset-energized or call us on 08000 302 302 and quote ‘Dorset Energized’ to receive a free £60 Naked Wines voucher to celebrate!



11
MAR

Jacob Windsor says:
Ecotricity Launch New Anti-Fracking Video


Category: Climate Change, Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: , ,


1505467_708550045834928_2015636478_n

(Photo: Dorset Energized’s Co-founder Vince Adams is on the top just in right of the green man!)

Last Thursday 6th March 2014, down in Brighton, and with the help of Caroline Lucas (Green party MP) – and Vince from Dorset Energized – Ecotricity launched our latest anti Fracking initiative. The centrepiece of that is our latest animation, which you can find here:

We’ve big hopes that it’ll go viral as our ‘Dump The Big 6′ video did a couple of years ago, achieving global fame and some 3 million hits.

Fracking is a very serious subject and our government seem hell bent on imposing it on Britain – we hope a little humour will be an effective weapon, coupled with our Frack Free gas promise which enables people to boycott Fracking – a powerful weapon itself if it catches on.

You can read Ecotricity’s latest press release on this link: www.ecotricity.co.uk/news

We hope you like it and will want to share it with your friends to spread the word and stop the UK government from fracking under our feet!



17
JAN

Jacob Windsor says:
Ecotricity promises ‘Frack-Free Gas’


Category: Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags: , ,


Britain’s first green energy company Ecotricity has announced that the gas it sources for its customers will be free of gas from Fracking – the controversial process of extracting gas, which is being developed in Britain.

Frack-Free Gas Promise

In an industry first, Ecotricity’s ‘Frack-Free Gas’ promise gives householders and businesses in Britain the opportunity to not only avoid using Fracked gas – but also avoid supporting the Fracking industry with their energy bills.

Ecotricity founder, Dale Vince, said: “Fracking for shale gas will entrench the use of fossil fuels in Britain for decades to come – at the expense of the switch to clean green energy – we can see that happening already.”

He said there were clear environmental risks involved with the hydraulic fracturing process, that were well documented from other parts of the world and Briton’s deserved transparency from energy suppliers and the choice to conscientiously object to the practice.

“The majority of people in Britain simply don’t want Fracking to take place and we think they should be able to choose not to buy gas from such sources. We’re giving people the chance to be conscientious objectors on this issue, to make sure their gas bill money does not support this rather desperate and damaging process.”

The Gloucestershire-based energy company has arrangements in place to ensure that Fracked gas does not enter its gas supply chain.

Vince continued: “People want to be able to choose what they eat and don’t eat – labelling of food enables that – GM-free food is a good example. Green Electricity is also labelled to guarantee its origin.

“We’re extending that concept – Ecotricity’s gas supply now has its own guarantee of origin – it will remain ‘Frack-Free’ so our customers can be sure they will not be supporting the shale gas industry with money from their energy bills.”

Ecotricity was founded in 1995 as the world’s first green energy company. Now powering over 75,000 homes and businesses from its growing fleet of Wind and Sun parks, Ecotricity is a ‘not-for-dividend’ enterprise that, on average, invests more per customer in building new sources of green electricity than any other energy company in Britain.

Switch to green energy

Switch to Ecotricity through Dorset Energized and you’ll receive a £60 Naked Wines voucher (as well as 100% green electricity and green gas)!

Go to: www.ecotricity.co.uk/dorset-energized or call free on 08000 302 302. When you sign up please quote ‘Dorset Energized’.



12
SEP

Lets Get Energized says:
Global Warming & Climate Change Seminar in Dorchester Saturday 14th September 2013


Category: Climate Change, Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
Tags:


GLOBAL WARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE – A HALF-DAY SEMINAR
Saturday 14th September 2013, 9.30 am – 1.00pm
Corn Exchange, High East Street, Dorchester, Dorset
Followed by lunch Weymouth & Portland

Just to remind you that Weymouth & Portland Transition Towns are giving a half-day seminar on ‘GLOBAL WARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE’ this week…

Did you notice these recent newspaper headlines?

“Extreme weather from climate change is biggest threat to British farming, says NFU”

“Last year Britain’s carbon emissions increased, after years of decline”

“Fracking shale for gas in Dorset possible”

The background to these current energy and food issues remains global warming and climate change. Find out the latest scientific evidence and our county and government policies.

Oliver Letwin MP, will be the keynote speaker, covering the national response to climate change. It will be a good opportunity to hear the latest government thinking, from a cabinet member and adviser to the Prime Minister.

Before Oliver Letwin, two local speakers will contribute:

John Tomblin, co-ordinator of Weymouth Energy Advice Centre, will detail the latest scientific evidence. He has taught atmospheric chemistry to his A level students and has recently delivered presentations on climate change.

Pete West, Renewable Energy Officer for Dorset County Council, will outline Dorset’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency strategies and indicate how we are managing to implement them.

David Attenborough has called the threat of Climate Change the greatest challenge facing humanity. This seminar will enable you to get up to date with the latest scientific thinking and the response to this challenge, both nationally and in Dorset. As a county with a long coastline, we are particularly vulnerable to the impact of rising sea levels.

We do hope that you will be able to come and join in afterwards for a locally sourced lunch.

If you haven’t booked yet it may be worth double checking there are still spaces – contact jvtomblin@aol.com or 01305 832180.



06
SEP

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Keep Dorset Frack Free


Category: Energy Efficiency, Fracking
Tags:


Photo: Frack Free Dorset campaigners at Balcombe in Sussex (and if you look carefully you’ll spot
Dorset Energized’s very own Paul McIntosh!)

Did you know?…
Fracking uses between 3-8 million gallons of water per frack?

As World Water Week 2013 comes to an end today, its the perfect time to look at one of many reasons why Fracking – Hydraulic Fracturing for shale gas – is causing such concern and outrage for local communities and environmental groups.

Why should we be concerned about fracking?

There is a substantial amount of evidence documenting the side effects of hydraulic fracturing, the majority of which are related to water contamination.
The main causes of concern include:

  • Methane contamination of ground water.
  • The toxic chemicals (and their carcinogenic properties) used in the process.
  • Contamination of water as a result of various materials leaching out of fracked rocks into the fracking fluid. Of particular concern are toxic elements like arsenic that can be brought to the surface by this process.
  • Radioactive Contamination. Radioactive isotopes (such as radium-226) can also be leached out of rocks the fracking fluid passes through. Biological concentration of these materials up the food chain would be the largest concern.
  • Food supply contamination via contaminated water.
  • The quantity of water involved in the fracking process in a climate of drought, water resource pressures and the needs of the agricultural community in Dorset.
  • Fracking has also been linked with air pollution, due to the production of ozone and leaks of a variety of volatile chemicals. Increases in respiratory problems have already been reported around the first fracking site in the UK.
  • Fracking has also been associated with earthquakes, most notoriously in the UK in Lancashire.
  • Fracking also demands an industrial landscape and an increase in traffic, the infrastructure of which has its own pollution consequences.
  • Fracking also extinguishes any opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a county or national level.

(Info above with thanks to FrackFreeSomerset)

Local group Frack Free Dorset have now set up a new website where you can find out more on: http://frackfreedorset.org.uk.

Check out our previous blog posts about Fracking for further reading too: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/category/fracking-2.

At Dorset Energized we agree with environmental groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth that the UK government should stop wasting resources on looking for unsustainable fossil fuels including by fracking, and instead simply invest more in renewable energy – and that’s something we can all do as individuals too even if its something as simple as switching to a green energy supplier (and remember the Soil Association’s moto this Organic September: Small Changes = Big Difference)!



27
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
RSPB raises fracking fears for wildlife


Category: Climate Change, Fracking, Wind Power
Tags:


Objections to fracking in the UK are pouring in thick and fast!
We have now heard that the RSPB is issuing its first objections to fracking proposals over concerns that the controversial drilling technique will harm wildlife and the climate.

Their website stated that the charity has lodged a letter of objection with Lancashire County Council to a proposal by Cuadrilla at Singleton near Blackpool in Lancashire. The drilling site is close to an internationally important protected area for pink footed geese and whooper swans and could cause disturbance to the birds. The RSPB is also officially objecting to the contentious plans to explore for oil and gas at Balcombe in Sussex on the grounds that no Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out, and because increasing oil and gas use will scupper their chances of meeting climate targets.

Harry Huyton, RSPB head of climate and energy policy, said: “Balcombe has hit the headlines as the battleground in the debate over fracking. The public there are rightly concerned about the impact this new technology will have on their countryside. These are not just nimbys worried about house prices – there is a very real public disquiet about fracking. We have looked closely at the rules in place to police drilling for shale gas and oil, and they are simply not robust enough to ensure that our water, our landscapes and our wildlife are safe.”

Mr Huyton added: “Figures suggest that in the north of England there is potential for 5,000 sites and a total of up to 100,000 wells. The idea that these will not have an impact on the countryside is very difficult to believe. Fracking is technology largely untested in the UK and we really have no idea what the impact will be on our wildlife. We do know, however, that concentrating our resources on extracting fossil fuel from the ground instead of investing in renewable energy threatens to undermine our commitment to avoiding dangerous levels of climate change.”

Read the full article on the RSPB website at: http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/351702-rspb-raises-fracking-fears-for-wildlife

RSPB Wind Turbine Proposal
As an animal and nature lover, I find it very reassuring to see that the RSPB who are dedicated to protecting wildlife are working hard against climate change and, like Dorset Energized, believe we must invest in renewables. Interestingly, earlier this year in April 2013, the RSPB announced its grand plans for its own wind turbine (see my previous post at: ‘RSPB announces plans for a wind turbine at its HQ’).

Adam Murray from the RSPB, previously commented that “We believe that renewable energy is an essential tool in the fight against climate change, which poses the single biggest threat to the long term survival of birds and wildlife.” He added “We know that with the right design and location wind turbines have little or no impact on wildlife, but we always take care to consider any wind turbine proposal on a case-by-case basis.”

Dorset Energized also agree strongly with the RSPB that wind turbine proposals should always be very carefully considered on a case by case basis to make sure they will not have a detrimental impact on wildlife. Find out more about Wind Power here: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/wind-power



14
AUG

Anna Celeste Watson says:
UnFrack Me! Switch to energy suppliers that don’t frack


Category: Fracking, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags:


You may or may not have noticed there is still an awful lot of fuss about fracking here in the UK at the moment in the national media. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth (literally under our feet). Fracking makes it possible to produce natural gas extraction in shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies (as explained on www.what-is-fracking.com).

While environmental action groups including Frack Free Dorset and ethical companies such as Lush continue to put pressure on local councils (you can ask Dorset County Council not to frack on council owned land at: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-fracking-dorset-county-council) and our government to stop fracking for gas and to instead invest in sustainable green energy, we must never underestimate the power that we have as individuals to make a stand and make a difference…

Frack-Off are therefore asking us as consumers to use our power and to support energy suppliers that don’t frack.

We’re always banging on about switching to renewable energy suppliers here at Dorset Energized anyway, as we know how simple and effective it is. 100% renewable electricity suppliers Good Energy who are on the list of green suppliers who also don’t frack, even currently have a special offer just for Dorset Energized users to save £50 off your first bill to help you make the switch (make sure you quote ‘Dorset Energized’). I put my money where my mouth is last year and made the switch myself and am pleasantly surprised that my bill is pretty much the same as it used to be when I was with Scottish Power (and before that British Gas).

As Frack-Off say, IT TAKES 3 MINUTES TO SWITCH! You won’t need account numbers or meter readings.

Compare green energy suppliers here: http://unfrack.me/choose

What is fracking?
I like the way Frack-Off explain what fracking is! They say:
You know those scenes in films when junkies scratch around the house looking everywhere for one last tiny rock or heroin, find it, take it, and are found dead the next day? That’s fracking.

Why should I care?
As Frack-Off also put it, you should care about fracking:
Because every penny spent on fracking makes the problem worse, and isn’t spent on green energy which would make the problem better. It will also help melt the permafrost triggering massive methane release, poison water supplies, and make selfish sociopaths very rich.

Find out more about fracking at: www.frack-off.org.uk
Check out the ‘Dangers of Fracking’ website if you haven’t already at: www.dangersoffracking.com



23
JUL

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Lush Say Frack Off! Defend your right to clean air and water…


Category: Dorset Energized News, Fracking, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags:


If you haven’t heard about the dangers of fracking yet, or have and wonder what the frack all the fuss is about, then this new video from the always inspiring ethical people at Lush Cosmetics (who started here in Poole, Dorset) explains it all!

Fracking is a threat to our water and our air. The oil and gas industry wants to frack the UK when we should be investing in more renewable, sustainable energy sources. Only we can stop them.

Lush are supporting Frack Off – a grassroots campaign group committed to stopping the spread of ‘extreme energy’ and unconventional gas extraction here in the UK.

Find out more about the Lush campaign to fight against a fracked future at: https://www.lush.co.uk/frack-off

You may be alarmed to know that Dorset is a hot spot for planned fracking!
Find out more about our local group Frack Free Dorset at: https://www.facebook.com/FrackFreeDorset


1Comments | Post your own comment


18
APR

Theresa McManus says:
National Trust to generate half of its power from renewable sources by 2020


Category: Climate Change, Fracking, Renewable Energy
Tags:


This is really great news! According to the BBC News today, the National Trust has revealed a plan to generate half of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

A respected organisation demonstrating the kind of leadership that the urgency of climate change demands. And doubly super that it is an organisation people closely associate with conservation. They clearly realise that climate change presents an incredible threat to our natural and built heritage.

We have already seen over the last 12 months in Dorset the number of coastal landslips massively increase because of our increasingly stormy weather, and the amount of flooding increase. Weather extremes, rising temperatures, and migrating diseases (for plants and animals) will all affect our natural landscape, as will fracking and shale gas extraction if we don’t reduce our demand for fossil fuels…

Read more: www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22189743.

For more information on your renewable energy options at home and here in Dorset visit: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy.



19
FEB

Anna Celeste Watson says:
New ‘Frack Free Dorset’ Action Group


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
Tags:


Our contacts at West Dorset Friends of the Earth have told us about a new community group called Frack Free Dorset which has been set-up to protect the Dorset environment from Fracking.

Hydraulic fracture methods (“fracking”) are associated with a range of environmental impacts, some of which are not fully characterised or understood. The process consumes huge amounts of water (estimated at anywhere between 9,000 and 29,000 cubic metres of water for a single well).

A range of hazardous chemicals are added to fracturing fluids (at least 260 chemical additives are known to be used), some of which are toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic. These chemicals can contaminate groundwater if well bores fail, and are part of waste fluid streams returned to the surface, which can also pick up contaminants such as heavy metals, volatile hydrocarbons and naturally occurring radioactive elements from the shale itself. Well-drilling operations can also cause severe landscape degradation and noise pollution simply as a result of normal operations.

On top of all this, it appears that the greenhouse gas “footprint” of shale gas may be significantly greater than for conventional gas and has even be claimed by some to be worse than coal. Until the impacts are fully investigated, understood, addressed and regulated we call for significant more effort to be put into understanding the full impacts of fracking.

There is a meeting about Fracking on Wednesday 20th March 2013 7pm – 9pm at the Dorford Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester DT1 1RR.

Check out the Frack Free Dorset Facebook page for more information and look out for more info here soon: http://www.facebook.com/FrackFreeDorset

Vince Adams has also started a petition to  ‘Keep the UK Frack Free': http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Keep_the_UK_Frack_Free/?launch

Please sign and share the online petition

See our previous posts about Fracking from our Dorset Energized blog too here: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/category/fracking-2


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • James Wallace comments:
    "I have a clean energy system that would mean we do not need Fracking. I need your help to get my system adopted. You now have contacts with people like Vivien Westwood and others that can help me thus helping us beat Fracking and the lower the cost of energy. Regards
    James Wallace
    jim@excessgroup.eu
    44 7977387905 "

    August 17, 2013 a 11:50 pm


14
JAN

Wendy Pillar says:
What the frack are they thinking?


Category: Climate Change, Fracking, Renewable Energy
Tags:


I read an article on a prototype hydrogen-powered car developed by BMW. It used a modified diesel engine to run on hydrogen produced by passing an electric current through seawater. The electric current was created by a solar photovoltaic panel, and it broke the H2O molecule into hydrogen and oxygen. When the hydrogen was burned in the engine, it recombined with oxygen in the air to produce steam – the only emission. What a marvellous breakthrough in technology, a portable fuel that is entirely clean and renewable!

This particular article appeared in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, about twenty years ago now. There were technical issues around storing and refuelling the hydrogen, but why were they never solved? What happened to this amazing prototype?

Also in the same journal, around the same time, appeared a cartoon. It depicted a meeting of large, wealthy-looking gentlemen, in Arab dress, although nowadays they would probably be Russian. They were saying, ‘We have lots of oil, oil is good. Gas? We control the gas, gas is good. What about nuclear? We control the uranium supply, nuclear energy is an excellent idea. Solar power? We control … it’ll never work!’

And there we have it in a nutshell. Instead of developing hydrogen power, we have stuck with petrol and diesel. Instead of being offered clean solar, wind and hydro power, we are having a ‘dash for gas’, nuclear and fracking pushed onto us.

Fracking is a particularly good example of how the fixation of those in power with fossil fuels produces bizarre ‘solutions’ to the energy problem. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has come about because remaining gas reserves are in ever smaller pockets rather than in the huge reservoirs of old, or in rocks that are not porous enough for gas to flow through them and accumulate.

Fracking involves injecting a fluid, a slurry of water and chemical additives, at very high pressure, into cracks in the rock to extend them and open them up to release gas, along with sand or something similar to hold the cracks open. Despite the usual condescending assurances from the industry that it is ‘quite safe’ and that experts are fully in control, fracking has a couple of major problems that make it an unpredictable process. The first is that the chemical fracking fluid can escape along cracks – sometimes a very large proportion of it has been lost, with little control or prediction on where it will go. It can end up in the groundwater, and pollute drinking water far into the future. It may contain salt, hydrochloric acid, ethylene glycol, disinfectant, isopropanol or other chemicals, or even radioactive elements flushed out of the rock. The second problem is that the liberation of the gas cannot be entirely controlled either, and it may escape, not along the intended cracks, but in an unpredictable way, causing air pollution and explosion risk. Fracking has also caused small earthquakes in the USA.

While fracking has mostly been carried out in the USA, applications are beginning to be made here, including one in the Mendips (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-13748284), and the fossil fuel lobby is applying pressure to the government. What makes it a really crazy idea is that methane could be produced far more efficiently using waste or specifically grown crops, using anaerobic digestion. If we want the government to adopt sensible, long-term policies concerning energy, we are going to have to make our voices heard. Fracking is not some distant threat, but coming soon to an area near you, so be prepared to protest!

To speak out against fracking – read Paul’s recent blog post about the Fracking Opposition Meeting which is TOMORROW on Tuesday 15th January from 7.00pm in Dorchester http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2013/01/03/speak-out-against-fracking-dorchester-meeting-15th-january-2013.

For more information on fracking visit the ‘Dangers of Fracking’ website on http://dangersoffracking.com which clearly and visually explains what goes in and out of Hydraulic Fracturing (also known as ‘fracking’).



03
JAN

Paul McIntosh says:
Speak Out Against Fracking – Dorchester Meeting 15th January 2013


Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
Tags:


Fracking Opposition Meeting
Tuesday 15th January 2013 from 7.00pm
Cerne Abbas Room, United Church, Charles Street, Dorchester, Dorset

Dorset residents and communities are invited to a meeting to set up a local coalition of groups and individuals opposed to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on Tuesday 15th January at the United Church in Dorchester (entrance in the shadows of the infamous new council offices). Please let me know if you will be coming so that I can keep an eye on numbers in case we need a larger room. You contact me via da21 at paul@da21.org.uk.

If you follow Dorset Energized on Facebook you may have seen our recent post from the Dorset Echo, on an interesting article called HAVE YOUR SAY: Is fracking a good way of increasing gas supply? Take a look at the article to see who voted for whether fracking should be allowed and who is worried it is dangerous:  http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/10106145.HAVE_YOUR_SAY__Is_fracking_a_good_way_of_increasing_gas_supply_

You can also check out Anna’s recent post on the Dangers of Fracking Websitewww.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/10/25/dangers-of-fracking-website/

Image above from http://dangersoffracking.com designed by Linda Dong.



25
OCT

Anna Celeste Watson says:
Highly Recommended: Dangers of Fracking Website


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
Tags: ,


Just wanted to remind you all that TONIGHT is the FREE screening of the films ‘Gasland’ & ‘Drying for Freedom’ at Durlston Castle in Swanage – full details on: http://www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/?p=1601

I have also stumbled across a really simple but stunning site called the ‘Dangers of Fracking’ designed by Linda Dong which clearly and visually explains what goes in and out of Hydraulic Fracturing (also known as ‘fracking’) so you can get a bit more of an idea of what on earth it’s all about (and why on earth it is so bad!) before you watch the film ‘Gasland’, or indeed if you can’t make the free film screening as it also lists some further reading too.

Check out the website for yourself at: http://dangersoffracking.com



09
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Fracking: FREE screening of ‘Gasland’ & ‘Drying for Freedom’ at Durlston Castle 25th October 2012


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
Tags: ,


Purbeck Film Festival, The Co-operative and PEAT present two FREE films including the Academy Award nominated film Gasland and Drying for Freedom followed by an open discussion about what shale gas and ‘fracking’ means for Dorset and the South West.

Where: Durlston Castle, Durlston Country Park, Lighthouse Road, Swanage, Dorset BH19 2JL
When: Thursday 25th October, 7pm – 9.15pm

GASLAND
Gasland reveals the shocking story of the environmental and health impacts of shale gas extraction in the US. When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. (50 mins)

The Government has recently given ‘fracking’ the go ahead, despite earthquakes linked to the practice in Lancashire and the risk of water contamination. Now Somerset and Dorset may see the extraction of shale gas through this controversial practice. Find out more at this event!

DRYING FOR FREEDOM
Filmmaker Steven Lake, who is from the Isle of Purbeck and was a projectionist at the Rex criss-crosses the world to unravel the reasons and consequences for banishing clotheslines in favour of tumble dryers. Corporate America sold us an electric dream: replacing simple centuries-old outdoors line-drying with the electricity hungry dryer. Now, developing nations are starting their own love affair with an electric utopia exponentially increasing the demands on an already threatened environment (60 mins).

Tickets in advance from Durlston Castle or Swanage TIC.
Food and drink will be provided (bar available).

For more information visit: www.purbeckfilm.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=&product_id=201&category_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=83

Click here to download the event poster >>



08
MAY

Vince Adams says:
Fracking: FREE screening of ‘Gasland’ in Dorchester 30th May


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
Tags: , ,


The Co-operative invites Dorset Energized users to a FREE screening of the Academy Award nominated film Gasland, followed by an open discussion about what shale gas and ‘fracking’ means for the South West.

Where: The Corn Exchange, High East Street, DORCHESTER, Dorset, DT1 1HF
When: Wednesday 30th May 2012. 6.30pm start. Ends 9.30pm

Food and drink will be provided on arrival.

Gasland reveals the shocking story of the environmental and health impacts of shale gas extraction in the US. When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.

The Government has recently given ‘fracking’ the go ahead, despite earthquakes linked to the practice in Lancashire and the risk of water contamination. Now Somerset and Dorset may see the extraction of shale gas through this controversial practice. Find out more at this event.

Book online at www.s.coop/sweventss or call 01884 266892.

Click here to download the event poster >>



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