Editorial: – Why a dash for gas is not the solution to a low carbon Europe

Last month saw Germany breaking a world record for the percentage of its energy output that was produced by renewable energy. Saturday 26thy of May they produced a whopping 22 GW of renewable energy. . An amazing milestone, sending a clear signal that moving towards a renewable powered world is possible. In addition Germany currently has the strongest economy in Europe. You would have thought that these two facts combined would give the rest of Europe a clear signal that this is the path we will have to embark on.

Oh no. Instead, as documented in recent leaked report by discovered by the guardian, the EU are looking to rebrand gas a clean and renewable energy source, which will allow funds that had been set aside for renewable energy projects, to be diverted to the gas industry.

I’m not denying that gas is the least carbon intensive fossil fuel, but nevertheless it is still a fossil fuel and we have to be clear about what it should be used for. If it is to replace more polluting coal and oil then thats a good thing, but if it is to be rolled out instead of renewable energy projects then it is indeed a very bad thing and very big step backwards.

We should also understand that shale gas, which is wrongly being branded as a golden future for gas, has many adverse effects we’re not yet sure about. Anyone who has seen the film Gasland, will have witnessed how it has contaminated the groundwater in the USA. Indeed even in the UK, the test drillings in Blackpool have resulted in minor earthquakes. Despite of this, the UK government are set to go forward with it. Again on this issue Germany along with France and Bulgaria is leading the way, having banned drilling for shale gas.

How many more examples of renewable energy success stories do we need before governments will start to invest heavily in the only form of energy that has a future?

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