Unconventional Hydrocarbons - UK Energy System
Laurence Williams outlines his current research in Energy World magazine.
The focus of the NERC and ESRC jointly funded Unconventional Hydrocarbons in the UK Energy System Programme is to improve the understanding of unconventional hydrocarbon development in the UK, taking a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to identifying the potential environmental, social and economic impacts. The overarching objective of this research programme is to significantly improve the scientific evidence base on shale gas as a potential energy resource for the UK as well as developing our understanding of the governance, public / political acceptance and wider societal aspects.
Seven multi-institutional consortium projects have been funded. The projects will address five key challenges identified by NERC and ESRC:
Challenge 1 - The evolving shale gas landscape
Challenge 2 - Shale resource potential, distribution, composition, mechanical and flow properties
Challenge 3 - Coupled processes from reservoir to surface
Challenge 4 - Contaminant pathways and receptor impacts
Challenge 5 - Socio-economic impacts, which is addressed in three separate projects, namely:
- The dynamics of public attitudes and community responses to shale gas;
- The social construction of unconventional gas extraction; and
- 'Fracking', framing and effective participation.
Details of the each of the consortium projects can be found by clicking on the links below.