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The Fracking Debate?

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Despite serious concerns from environmentalist groups and many ordinary people in this country, Fracking has significant support in government — indeed, financial inducements have recently been announced that are designed to encourage local authorities to permit relevant geological tests to be carried out.

Given public concerns, why might the British government be so keen to pursue this technology? Here's a possible reason.

According to the government's statistics, North Sea gas production is in rapid decline, falling by nearly two thirds since 2000. In 2012 year we imported about four times more gas than we exported, mostly from Norway and Qatar. Of the electricity we used in 2012, 39% started life as coal, 28% as gas, 19% as nuclear and 11% renewables. A rise in wholesale gas prices saw energy suppliers switching back to coal. Yet, the government wants CO2 down 80% by 2050.

What are the options?

27% of UK CO2 emissions come from our homes. We all need electricity and winter warmth. Fracking could be an answer, although the film Gasland (see here) points to potential downsides.

What ecologically friendly options do homeowners have?

Some are switching to a 100% renewable electricity tariff. Others are generating their own electricity and hot water with solar panels. Some are even using waste wood for space heating. The most determined are reducing their home's space heating requirement, so insulating themselves from future energy price hikes.

To find out more about these low carbon trailblazers, visit the superhomes website.

You can also see a superhomes video made by the Haddenham.net team by clicking here

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