Radio about Global warming

November 9 Dr. Chien’s Eco-report: New energy of the 21st century – shale gas

In the past few decades, advances in exploration technologies and big rises of petrochemical fuels have made the new energy of shale gas the new darling of the energy industry in 21st century. Shale gas is a kind of energy stored in the rock layers under the surface of the earth. Drilling has to go to the deep layers of the earth to shatter rocks and then infuse water and chemicals to drive out the gases. The natural gases obtained include methane, ethane, butane and are an energy source with high practicality.


However the extraction of shale gas also causes discussions by environmentalist, both for and against it. Those who are against it think that the infusion of chemicals into rock layers during extraction would cause pollution to the land in degrees still not reaching an exact conclusion. Furthermore infusion of water into rock layers would have an impact on faults with the possibility of leading to earthquakes. For example, there rarely had been earthquakes in Texas, USA, but the frequencies of earthquakes have been rising significantly in recent years. All of the events point to the potential problems of the impact on the environment from shale gas extraction.


Nevertheless extraction of shale gas also has a positive impact on environmental protection. Compared with coal, natural gas is a cleaner energy. Use of shale gas to replace coal fuel can effectively lower carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore whether extraction of shale gas is a boon or a disaster to environmental protection is still a question that needs to be evaluated carefully by countries around the world.