Shale gas exploration in the UK has been in the headlines, but little activity has taken place so far. Whether unconventional gas should be part of the UK energy mix is not only the question of economic viability but also of public support. Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy at SPRU and Director of UKERC, argues in his latest blog for The Conversation that when it comes to debates about the UK’s sustainable energy transition there is a lot more than technological choice and cost effectiveness at stake. The power of national government to constrain local level decision-making on resources and technologies is causing public concern about local democracy and there is an unease about the decision-making process. Jim Watson emphasizes the need for a broader conversation about the UK’s energy system and how it can reflect values such as fairness and sustainability.
Jim Watson is Professor of Energy Policy at SPRU and Director of UKERC. He was previously Director of the Sussex Energy Group from 2008 to 2013.
Follow Sussex Energy Group