Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Shale gas unlikely to be the solution to the UK’s future energy needs

Press Release   •   Jul 03, 2012 15:30 BST

Over recent years the UK has become ever more dependent on the import of gas to supply our energy needs, presenting risks for our future energy security. 

In a presentation to the annual international conference of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in Edinburgh today (Tuesday 3 July 2012) Professor Mike Bradshaw, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, will argue that a ‘perfect storm’ of multiple failures is developing around UK energy policy.

Commenting on his research Professor Bradshaw said:
“There is a high degree of risk and uncertainty associated with every element of the UK’s energy strategy – whether that’s energy efficiency, renewable energy, or carbon capture and storage.

“Coming together these could result into an ever greater reliance of gas, at a time when its price is likely to increase because of growing demand from countries including China and India.”

Some commentators present shale gas extraction as the solution to these future gas and energy security issues. Yet, Professor Bradshaw does not agree, commenting that significant levels of exploitation are unlikely for many years, due to substantial logistical and environmental challenges.

“Shale gas is unlikely to be a game-changer in the UK” concluded Professor Bradshaw.




Notes to editors


1. For further information, and any bids to speak to the presenter of the research, please contact the Media Office: on (020) 7591 3019 (Alex Jackson: Commucations Officer) ; (020) 7591 3008 (Steven Toole: Policy and Public Affairs Manager); or 07719  712 978; or email

2. Professor Mike Bradshaw’s presentation Globalising UK natural gas security is taking place on Tuesday 03 July 2012 as part of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s annual international conference in Edinburgh

3. The RGS-IBG conference is the largest gathering of academic geographers in Europe, with more than 300 sessions, featuring more than 1,000 speakers. it is taking place in Edinburgh from Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 July 2012. Full details on the RGS-IBG annual International Conference 2012 can be found at


The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective by developing, supporting and promoting geography through research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, and public engagement, while also providing geographical input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer'