There is no system of energy supply with its infrastructures, power stations and refineries which could be neutral face to face diverse sources of energy: the particular energy source determines the technical, organisational, economic and political prerequisites to make it available for the consumer. All we can do is decide which particular source of energy we want to harness – this choice then determines every subsequent step that follows thereafter: from the mines and wells to the customer. Each source of energy has its own prerequisites, determining in turn conversion technologies, infrastructures and the like. It is technologically impossible to maintain the current system, which is tailored to the needs of fossil and nuclear energy, and just exchange the energy sources.
Many so-called energy-experts have not understood this till now. The transition to renewable energy is a switch from imported energy to indigenous energies, from commercial fuels to non-commercial fuels, from large power plants to small and medium production facilities and to new conversion technologies – and not just the avoidance of emissions and nuclear waste. The totality of expenses for renewable energies – except for bio fuels – results from technology costs. This is a transition from fuel business to technology business, from energy dependence to energy autonomy. I call this the techno-logic of energy sources. That is why we need a global technology market for the deployment of local and regional renewable energy resources. Many have misunderstood this concept – even advocates of renewable energy. The manifold mental barriers result from this misconception.
Shale gas is characterized by high-cost, rapidly depleting wells that require high energy and water inputs. There is considerable controversy about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on the contamination of surface water and groundwater, as well as the disposal of toxic drilling fluids produced from the wells. A moratorium has been placed on shale gas drilling in New York State. Other analyses place the marginal cost of shale gas production well above current gas prices, and above the EIA’s price assumptions for most of the next quarter century. An analysis of the EIA’s gas production forecast reveals that record levels of drilling will be required to achieve it, along with incumbent environmental impacts. Full-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shale gas may also be worse than previously understood, and possibly worse than coal.
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