There is one primary misconception about fracking and that is, that it is similar to getting oil and gas out of the ground previously using single rigs to tap into a commodity that is under pressure.
The new gas extraction methods don’t work like that. They are energy intensive, using almost as much energy to release the trapped gas as it provides! The gas produced is not under pressure. It has to be forced out. One well site will not do, you need many multiples and therein lays a huge problem. The area that is fracked becomes one massive industrial site. Historically these sites have just been abandoned after active use and scar the landscape, having damaged local ecology dramatically.
When we consider nuclear means to provide energy we always include the clear-up costs of decommissioning. Fracking somehow seems to have avoided even taking any of this into consideration. When you consider the amount of land used and other vital areas such as water supply, it has no costed provision to clean up after itself. If it did, it would probably be totally unviable as a means of providing energy.
When it is happily announced that there are more reserves than previously thought below ground, it sounds good. The opposite is in fact true! Since energy has to be provided to get it out, finding more ties us into providing more energy just to get to it! It also means an even greater blight on our living surface above ground! Each fracking well can only extract what is in its near vicinity. Each well is soon depleted and the drilling has to move to get at some more. It is really the equivalent of open cast mining on the surface! It destroys and depletes an area, then moves on. Announcements of increased reserves below ground, therefore, mean more destruction above and that is not something to celebrate!
When you consider the fact that this energy source is pronounced as a quick fix of some 25 years to get us out of an energy mess of our own creating, it is totally unjustified, for it threatens to destroy the future for our generations to come.
So where are the positive alternatives?
These come in three forms.
1. Reduced energy requirement by increased efficiency,
2. storage of energy at peak production times to deliver at peak usage times and
3. developing true renewable technology.