IGas welcomes the Government’s support and commitment to our industry as laid out in the Written Ministerial Statement (“WMS”) from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government today.
The statement itself constitutes a material consideration in planning decisions and reiterates that shale gas development is of national importance. Government will publish revised planning practice guidance on shale development in the summer alongside the launch of a consultation that will consider allowing exploration wells to be drilled under permitted development (i.e. without the requirement of a planning application) and consult on the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.
Commenting Stephen Bowler, CEO, said:
“This is a significant joint statement from Government and we welcome the Government’s commitment to pursue safe, secure and affordable supplies of energy.
Gas is used to heat over 80% of homes and by over 60% of the UK’s population for cooking. Whilst renewable sources of energy are increasingly producing a greater share of our electricity, gas still provides nearly half.
We currently import 50% of our gas requirement at a significant financial cost to the UK taxpayer -over £13 million a day – and that figure is set to rise to almost 80% by 2035.
Gas has a key role to play to ensure our future energy supply is secure, affordable and as low carbon as is economically possible.”