Shale gas: A review of the economic, environmental and social sustainability

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The growth of the shale gas industry in the US has raised expectations that other nations could boost domestic gas production, leading to lower energy prices and improved energy security. However, the degree to which the US experience is transferable to other countries is uncertain. Furthermore, sustainability implications of shale gas development remain largely unknown. In an attempt to find out if and how shale gas could be exploited in a sustainable way, this paper reviews the economic, environmental, and social aspects of shale gas. These include costs, energy security, employment, water and land pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, earthquakes, and public perception. The literature suggests that it is possible to develop shale gas in a sustainable way, but its future will depend on the industry being able to address the environmental concerns, the political will to see the industry through to maturity, and public support, with the latter most likely being the biggest determinant.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-792
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Technology (Online)
Issue number7
Early online date6 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016