The Fracking Great Debate
A Crowd Wise event
Thursday 22nd May 2014
Should we exploit the UK's onshore shale gas,
and if so under what conditions?
Induced hydraulic fracturing (widely referred to as fracking) has
been in use since the 1940s but has recently come to the fore as
a means of releasing natural gas stored in shale rocks that would
otherwise be inaccessible. This technology has huge potential for
providing gas for energy generation, and has become increasingly
attractive as gas prices have risen and the natural gas that can
be easily extracted has been depleted. However, there is significant
resistance to the technology due to potential environmental risks
of its widespread use, such as ground water contamination
and the migration of gases and chemicals to the surface.
So, how great are the risks? How will they be managed?
What are the long term implications of pursuing this technology?
How should we move forwards?
This event explored these questions using the
new economics foundation's
Crowd Wise process:
Beginning with the central question
"Should we exploit the UK's onshore shale gas,
and if so under what conditions?"
participants (panel and audience) were invited to work
together to create and refine possible answers with a view to
deciding jointly what the best solutions are.
Ampea Boateng, Narec
Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University
Department of Geography, Durham University
Perry Walker and Caspar Hewett
This event was held as part of ETUDE: a
Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious project run by
The Great Debate in partnership with
Durham, Northumbria and Newcastle Universities.
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