Shale Gas in Europe: pragmatic perspectives and actions
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473, Potsdam, Germany
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Natural gas will continue to play a key role in the EU’s energy mix in the coming years, with unconventional gas’ role increasing in importance as new resources are exploited worldwide. As far as Europe’s own shale gas resources are concerned, it is especially the public’s perception and level of acceptance that will make or break shale gas in the near-term. Both the pros and cons need to be discussed based on factual argument rather than speculation. Research organizations such as ours (GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences) have an active and defining role to play in remedying this deficiency. As far as science and technology developments are concerned, the project “Gas Shales in Europe” (GASH) and the shale gas activities of “GeoEnergie” (GeoEn) are the first major initiatives in Europe focused on shale gas. Basic and applied geoscientific research is conducted to understand the fundamental nature and interdependencies of the processes leading to shale gas formation. When it comes to knowledge transfer, the perceived and real risks associated with shale gas exploitation need immediate evaluation in Europe using scientific analysis. To proactively target these issues, the GFZ and partners are launching the European sustainable Operating Practices (E-SOP) Initiative for Unconventional Resources. The web-based Shale Gas Information Platform (SHIP) brings these issues into the public domain.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012