U.K. Says 'No' to French-Recommended Frac Ban
The hydraulic fracking process used to access unconventional natural gas reserves has created a boom in the United States’ gas sector, despite bans on the practice in both New York and New Jersey. France too has placed a temporary ban on hydraulic fracking until environmental reports can prove that it isn’t destructive to the environment and ground water tables. France went so far as to recommend to its northern neighbors, the U.K., that they do the same, but a British parliamentary committee sees no need to ban fracking for now.
"We conclude that, on balance, a moratorium in the U.K. is not justified or necessary at present. But evidence must continue to be collected and assessed," the committee said.
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However, unlike the U.S.—where the discovery of unconventional natural gas has literally changed the face of the industry within a few short years—the U.K. isn’t likely to hold nearly as much reserves in shale natural gas as to be a “game-changer” in the market. Whereas November 2010 marked the first time in half a century that the U.K. saw liquefied natural gas shipments imported from the U.S., the U.K. itself would likely only produce sufficient gas supplies to feed its domestic energy needs without export.
The U.K., like much of the rest of Europe, is keeping close watch on Poland—which has confirmed shale gas reserves—as the measure of how unconventional natural gas exploration and production will play out on the continent. France’s Senate is set to decide in June whether to lift its temporary ban or not.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.