Oil giant issues renewables warning

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fracking study REUTERS Shell is one of several firms seeking to explore the semi-desert Karoo region, believed to have one of the largest untapped deposits of its kind in the world.

Johannesburg - Live in fear of fracking or accept gas as an energy source because renewables are not going to become a convincing reality.

This was the message from BP vice-president Christof Ruhl, who is visiting South Africa.

Ruhl used the latest BP Energy Outlook 2030 as the basis for his address to a group of economists and academics at Wits University on Tuesday.

He said it was predicted that by 2030, coal, oil and gas would share as much as 90 percent of global energy use, while hydro, nuclear and renewables would have only a 10 percent impact.

“What’s it going to be? Fear of fracking or more reduction of global energy emissions?” he said in reference to shale gas, which is extracted by hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking is being considered in the Karoo.

Studies have found that shale gas could provide energy at as much as a quarter of the emissions produced by coal.

The Department of Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, which lays out the government’s desire to diversify our energy use by 2030, puts coal use at 14 percent, with nuclear at 23 percent, gas at 14 percent and combined renewables at 49 percent.

However, Ruhl said their predictions did not show renewables managing to take off globally.

Johan van den Berg, chief executive of the SA Wind Energy Association, said the outlook underestimated the growth of renewables and made the assumption that we could continue to emit greenhouse gases at our current rate. - The Star

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