Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Britons near shale sites may gain cheaper power bills

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is considering giving energy consumers living near shale gas explorationsites access to cheaper bills, the government said on Monday, to help soften their reaction to drilling work on their doorstep.
Britain is counting on untapped reserves of shale gas trapped in rock formations to help reduce its growing dependence on energy imports.
"This is one of several options we are looking at," said a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
He also said investment into community facilities such as sports centres were part of the discussions.
"We will publish a report in the summer," he said, building on comments made last month byChancellor George Osborne, promising local community benefits from shale gas exploration and huge tax breaks for explorers.
British shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources said it was in discussions with local communities and the government to identify schemes through which residents can benefit from shale gas.
Public opposition against large infrastructure projects has been widespread in Britain.
Onshore wind farm developers have struggled to gain local planning approval in more populated areas as residents rebelled against the construction of wind turbines, which they called noisy and obtrusive.
The practice of offering community benefits is now widespread in the onshore wind industry. Examples include energy bill rebates for residents directly affected by the construction of wind farms.