The recent decision to boost shale gas exploration and extraction in the UK has met resistance within the Scottish government, writes Dr Marcello Graziano.
Scottish residents should worry less than those in England, as the country does not host as many reserves as previously thought. Nevertheless, the development of fracking poses a new sense of urgency to develop Scotland’s real richness: marine renewables. With a neighbouring market investing in a competing (at least apparently) source like shale fossils, Scotland could see a decreased interest in marine renewables.
Interestingly, one thing shale fossils and marine renewables have in common is the opposition encountered in many communities. Education, information and the prospect of sustainable development could shift support towards marine renewables, although these technologies require policymakers, stakeholders and developers to start delivering, and soon.
Otherwise, for how environmentally expensive they can be, shale a oil and gas will always be seen as necessary, with no real alternative for the future. And we know this is not true.
More about the new rules: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27529175
More about Scottish Shale Gas: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-28091835
More about Scottish reactions to new rules: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-28792721
Dr Marcello Graziano is a MERIKA Research Associate at SAMS, UHI