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Report (3rd Day)

Part of Infrastructure Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 10th November 2014.

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Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Chair, The Arctic Committee 7:15 pm, 10th November 2014

My Lords, I do not want in any way to suggest that Wales should not have its own authority over this area. As a citizen of Cornwall, I absolutely agree with the noble Lord—though I do not know enough about what the relationship is here.

On the attack on fracking, down in Cornwall our geology does not support shale gas but it does support deep geothermal, in which fracking plays an important part. I think that the noble Lord spoke on the whole about fracking in relation to shale gas, but there are issues around fracking for whatever purpose, and seismic events are one of those. In one of the early EU-funded geothermal tests in Alsace, there were seismic events and a lot has been learnt from that. There were also events in Blackpool, but as I understand it the industry is able in the right locations to make sure that such matters are very well controlled.

I make the point that fracking can be good. It can be good for renewables. I hope that in the longer term fracking will be available for deep geothermal in terms of power generation. At the moment, it looks like we will go through a heat revolution with not quite so deep geothermal, but in the long term we may get to generate baseload electricity through deep geothermal. I wanted to make that point, because fracking is not just around shale gas; it has those other benefits as well.

However, Wales should be able to steer its own course.