UK Environment Agency chief backs shale gas – but only with CCS

Shale gas could prove a "useful addition" to the UK's energy mix, according to the head of the Environment Agency – but only if power stations burning the gas are fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Lord Smith told the BBC's Today programme at 8.40 this morning, he recognised the potential of shale gas to provide a secure and affordable source of energy, which may be especially important if the country falls short on its nuclear and renewable energy ambitions.
However, he was insistent that the UK cannot rely on gas unless power plants are able to capture emissions and store them safely using CCS technologies that remain unproven at an industrial scale.