Shale gas tanker J S Ineos Invention passes under the Forth Road Bridge en route from Grangemouth to the US port of Marcus

Exploring for natural gas in shale formations

The Underground Revolution

July 2013, Number 04.03

“In the winter of 2013, beside a highway near the city of Augsburg in Bavaria, solar panels blanketed in snow and ice extended to the horizon under leaden skies. Once-in-a-half-century cloud cover, combined with plentiful snow, reduced solar-power generation to a relative trickle in a country that has invested billions of euros in the renewable energy source.

Five hundred kilometers away in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, brown lignite coal, the soft smoky hydrocarbon that used to blacken shirt collars in the days of the eastern Bloc, pours from conveyors into a communist-era power plant owned by the Swedish company Vattenfall. The fuel is cheap, effective and unperturbed by lack of sunshine.

Germany – and by extension many of its European Union neighbors – is getting a lesson in energy reality: the “greenest” sources of power are often the most unreliable, and the dirtiest are widely and cheaply obtainable. But an increasing number of experts insist Europe’s greatest potential for energy security, a security that combines reliability and lower costs, lies with natural gas trapped in layers of shale under much of the continent...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “The Underground Revolution,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  4, No. 3, 2013: 52-53.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.