Green energy firm Ecotricity is challenging the fracking industry by submitting applications for its new Green Gas Mills on sites already proposed for fracking.
The company has put in Green Gas Mill applications at two fracking sites in Lancashire: Preston New Road, rejected by Lancashire Council, but then approved by the Government; and Roseacre Wood, also rejected by Lancashire councillors this year, but which looks set to be the next site forced through by the Government, the company says.
In a new report released last month, Green Gas: The Opportunity for Britain, Ecotricity unveiled a national plan for Britain to get its gas through a new method, using species-rich grass grown on farmland.
“It’s important not just to oppose fracking, but to have an answer as to where Britain is going to get its gas from as North Sea supplies run out… Green gas is the new option – this is something that local communities should be able to choose instead of fracking, and something the government should now consider.”
The report found that there is enough grassland to provide almost all of Britain’s household gas demand by 2035 – in the process creating a new industry supporting 150,000 jobs and pumping £7.5bn into the economy every year.
Making gas this way will enable big cuts to carbon emissions, create wildlife habitats on an unprecedented scale, support food production by improving soils, and provide support for farmers who are set to lose EU subsidies following Brexit, Ecotricity says.
The company recently won planning permission to build its first Green Gas Mill in Hampshire – and its latest applications at potential fracking sites are the next step in the company’s campaign to prevent fracking in Britain by highlighting what its calls “the lack of democracy” in the planning process – and that there is an alternative way to make gas.
In addition, Ecotricity has financially supported the legal action taken by communities against fracking at sites in Ryedale and Balcombe.
Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “local opposition to fracking is simply being ignored – it’s the most unpopular energy source ever, but it’s being forced on people by the government.
“We want to show that there‘s an alternative to fracking – and start a local debate in the areas directly affected by it, in the same way we want to start a debate at the national level, including the House of Commons.
“It’s important not just to oppose fracking, but to have an answer as to where Britain is going to get its gas from as North Sea supplies run out.
“Green gas is the new option – this is something that local communities should be able to choose instead of fracking, and something the government should now consider.
“It’s not too late to prevent fracking – it hasn’t really started yet. We’ve unveiled a new way of making gas – it’s a viable alternative to fracking, and the right thing to do in light of this new option is to have a proper review of where we’re going to get our gas in Britain.
“That’s why we’re calling on Theresa May to think again and look at green gas as the genuine alternative.”
To this end, Ecotricity has launched a petition urging the Government to reconsider where Britain will get its gas from in future: Green Gas or Fracking – Let the People choose.