The U.K. should set up a fund using tax revenues from shale gas production to help it meet environmental goals, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said.
“I want us to be a country that invests for the future, a low-carbon future using shale gas revenues,” he said today at a conference in London.
His Liberal Democrat party will discuss a low-carbon transition fund established from tax revenues from any future shale gas production at its conference this month, he said.
Shale gas is not a “quick fix” or “silver bullet” to meeting Britain’s demand, he said. The U.K. may not feel the benefits from developing a shale industry until the 2020s, he said. The resource must be developed alongside renewable technologies to tackle climate change and form part of a global move from coal to less polluting gas, he said.
Shale gas could be a “key and valuable” part of a more diverse energy mix in the U.K. as North Sea gas supplies dwindle, helping to curb reliance on imports, Davey said.
Regulations the U.K. has imposed on the industry must be followed “to the letter” to protect local environments as the industry develops, he said. Shale gas exploration will not cause earthquakes, contaminate water supplies, or compromise a focus on renewable energy and meeting climate change goals, he said.