All posts by Nick Grealy

Are there advantages of UK onshore natural gas?

This was originally posted at MyGridGB.  Part 2, titled “The inarguably perverse outcome of environmental opposition to UK onshore gas” will be up there shortly.

Although the concept of a dynamic level of carbon intensity in electricity is well known to readers of My Grid, natural gas has been left out of the equation, much the same as natural gas has been lumped, excuse the pun, alongside coal and oil as ‘just another fossil fuel’.

Natural gas has a wide range of Carbon Intensity (CI) even within the UK gas grid. The second part of this post will demonstrate how significant that is and how onshore natural gas in the UK is not a threat to emissions but the opposite:  A way forward to decarbonise, as much as possible, UK natural gas supply.  But first, we have to talk about gas in general and try to understand the antipathy some UK greens have against it.

Firstly as this chart from the International Energy Agency shows, natural gas is responsible for less than 20% of world carbon emissions from energy combustion. Natural gas is not perfect. But it’s not perfectly evil either. Continue reading Are there advantages of UK onshore natural gas?

UK onshore natural gas is the lowest carbon natural gas possible: Shop Local First

Sometime soon, the  UK will  import LNG produced from US shale gas.  Shale gas is over 60% of all US production, and over 90% of new wells use the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  It is no longer “unconventional” or “controversial” and is predicted to provide 70% of global natural gas production by 2040.

US LNG will have a carbon intensity  (CI) approaching, and possibly exceeding that of coal when used in electricity generation.  But gas from everywhere else – even as close as the UK North Sea- will also have a demonstrably higher CI.  In short,  the opposition of groups such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and The Green Party to local production of UK onshore natural gas, contrary to what they strongly believe, causes significant  increases  in  CO2 emissions on a local, national and global basis. Continue reading UK onshore natural gas is the lowest carbon natural gas possible: Shop Local First

The End of Fracking. All over bar some shouting.

This may not be the last post at No Hot Air, but it will be close enough. Within the next few weeks I’ll be concentrating on London Local Energy, and I may or may not have a blog there.

Going through a new door is a good time to understand what has happened in the past. I’ve had a ringside seat at the greatest energy transformation since the light bulb.  I’ve been here talking about shale before anyone had ever heard of Josh Fox and Gasland.  I was here when the “conventional” industry said shale would never work: it was too expensive, the decline rates were too high, it was just a flash in the pan.

Continue reading The End of Fracking. All over bar some shouting.

If not here, then where?


Deciding – or not – to explore for the UK’s onshore natural gas and oil reserves needs informed facts.

On Saturday March 4, the LNG carrier Gallina  docked at the Isle of Grain Terminal 50 miles from London.

The Gallina’s arrival is inextricably linked to the lack of UK shale gas exploration. If exploration had been allowed,  and production ensued, the Gallina would not be landing the cargo.

The Gallina’s gas is very high carbon, with a 20% to 30% higher CO2 footprint across the supply chain than locally produced UK gas.

The  Gallina cargo left Peru on February 6, with a destination market as England. You can follow the progess here.  Continue reading If not here, then where?

Un-contacted tribes of the forests

Here’s a story based on cultural anthropology, the study of human cultures.  Culture is bottom up. The story of man is from individuals to families, to bands, to groups, to villages, to tribes, to cities to countries – and today to the world.

Deep in the Amazon rain forest there still remain uncontacted tribes, human who by choice or geography have no contact with the outside world. Some are near natural gas reserves:

Continue reading Un-contacted tribes of the forests

World’s greatest wind success story. Happening because of natural gas

Imagine the celebration if even a single European country exceeded 50% of power generation from wind. On Twitter at least, we would never hear the end of it. Who needs onshore natural gas when we have so much wind would be the inevitable conclusion, an interpretation widely distributed to the Fourth Estate and the other temporal powers.   That would lead  aside of course that two thirds of natural gas, now imported even from the high carbon/zero tax Peruvian Amazon Rain Forest in deference to our own low carbon/high tax resources, is used not in generation but for domestic heating and industry. But the milestone is very significant all the same. It’s, as far as I’m concerned, a fantastic breakthrough.

This should be great news: The 52% share of wind generating electricity the other morning in the US South West Power Pool is inarguably an incredible achievement: Continue reading World’s greatest wind success story. Happening because of natural gas

Scotland shale gas

Why should someone who wants to explore for shale gas in London care what’s going on in Scotland? Simply put, a ban on shale gas in Scotland would naturally make the case for shale in England and London harder.  That’s not only because at the last census 90,000 Scottish people live in London (more than from Jamaica, Somalia or Sri Lanka). It disrupts the narrative of shale, so lets  at least get the story straight.

There’s a consultation going on in Scotland on shale gas which will probably decide that exploration in Scotland may be OK, but hold off until after Cuadrilla and Third Energy’s results before taking any exploration plunge. Continue reading Scotland shale gas

Global Shale Gas: What Now What Next. This year’s model coming soon

Let’s imagine it’s February 2010

The conventional wisdom saw this:

On 10 February 2010 at the Royal Society, six UK companies – Arup, Foster + Partners, Scottish and Southern Energy, Solarcentury, Stagecoach Group and Virgin – joined together to launch the second report of the UK Industry Task-Force on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES).

Continue reading Global Shale Gas: What Now What Next. This year’s model coming soon

Natural gas under London. Let’s look!

This project is going to take up most of my time both, here and at a new site coming soon. Any questions? Get in touch. Guru at

We have much to say and this will be the first of a series that will answer the following  questions, and many more, in detail over coming weeks and months.  For now, all we can do is think, but ultimately we will act. It will be a great journey.  This is just the first step. Please get in touch with any further questions and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Q: Why should we explore for natural gas under London?

Continue reading Natural gas under London. Let’s look!

Robin Hood in reverse: Sherwood Forest “fracking” opponents rob from the poor to give to the rich.

Like all good insurrections, the opposition to “fracking” in Sherwood Forest risks snowballing and damaging everyone else  unless some facts are allowed to enter the debate.

Facts certainly aren’t intruding into this story from the local paper.  What could  then happen is that, like the original Telegraph story, these “alternative facts” become viral.  A local newspaper reporter, perhaps earning as little as £12 a year,  writes a story essentially dictated to her by Guy Shrubsole of Friends of the Earth. Other reporters worldwide will find it via Google and embellish it for their local story, producing a  digital palimpsest mirroring the medieval tone of the story. Result: anti fracking activists invigorate themselves as participants in a mythic battle.

Continue reading Robin Hood in reverse: Sherwood Forest “fracking” opponents rob from the poor to give to the rich.