What is the point of building all this renewable energy that the UK has undeniably achieved (see my blog from last week) if it’s going to be surrounded by fracking fields?
Check out the map here (feel free to share): the south of England has five fracking sites with planning permission to drill fracking wells, all hedged in by new community energy sites. With more than 10,000 people now members of energy coops nationwide, £50m invested, and more than 80 groups, community energy is plainly big. But what about this fracking?
Interspersing this renewable energy with frack sites simply does not compute (not to mention that local people don’t want it). Something has to give.
Yet that will not happen whilst the government insists on belligerent support for fossil fuels. And that’s why supporters of community energy and renewables should also get behind the anti-fracking movement.
Lancashire is the front line in UK fracking, and this Saturday 25th Feb thousands will converge on the Cuadrilla (yes, them again) drill site there. You can see details of the event here.
If you can’t go, then do share the above post among your friends.
Last year the government succeeded in cutting the solar industry to pieces – and did so largely without meaningful resistance (and despite the consequent loss of thousands of jobs). The anti-fracking movement is the only entity that successfully resists government backing of fossil fuels. As advocates of renewables they should have our full – and vocal – backing.
And make no mistake: things are happening on the fracking front. Cuadrilla are just one of many companies that have recently got planning permission to drill frack wells, preparing the way for the first first fracking in the country since 2012.
The south is not immune. Angus Energy plans to drill at Brockham, while a number of sites, including Horse Hill (UKOG) and Leith Hill (Europa Oil and Gas) in Surrey and Broadford Bridge (UKOG) in Sussex, are also threatened with drilling and testing. See details of what they’re after in Surrey and Sussex here – http://frack-off.org.uk/fracking-the-weald-the-growing-tight-oil-threat/
Some claim that fracking is a ‘bridge’ fuel between fossil fuels and a clean economy. The naivete of this is demonstrated by its simplicity to debunk: you do not create one industry by building up a competitor in the hope that the latter will somehow fade away when the time is right.
Which is why it’s important that those who support community energy also support anti-fracking. You can get involved both by joining energy coops (you can join Brighton Energy Coop here), or – preferably and – by getting stuck in to the growing anti-fracking resistance.
Make your voice heard.