At the Energy Efficiency Company, we provide EPC’s, or Energy Performance Certificates, for domestic and commercial properties across London. Despite our ethos of energy efficiency, some companies within the UK are using controversial measures to ensure their place in the energy market.
Michael Eavis, who has hosted Glastonbury Festival since 1970 at his Somerset Dairy Farm, has vowed to never allow fracking on Worthy Farm’s land. Both Eavis and his daughter have both signed a declaration pledging that the site will remain a “frack-free zone”. Eavis has stated that investment should be made in renewable resources. The Glastonbury Festival has long been known for its’ eco support, including a huge array of solar panels which have been installed upon the roof of its farm buildings. The roof of Worthy Farm is one of the UK’s largest private solar panel-decked roofs – about the size of a tennis court – with the electricity generated used to milk the herd and keep the milk cool.
Fracking is a controversial topic; it has taken the forefront in the debate over energy, with the environment, and local communities’ right to decide what happens where they live, at the heart of it. The process of fracking comprises of drilling into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas held inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure, which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. Fracking uses great volumes of water that must be transported to the fracking site at significant environmental cost; there is also potentially the risk that carcinogenic chemicals used in the process may escape and contaminate the groundwater around the fracking site. The process can also cause small earth-tremors. These risks alone should encourage energy firm and the Government to invest in renewable sources of energy.
This festival season, situated in pride of place beside Pyramid Stage, sits the Anti-Fracking tent, manned by Tim Richards from the frack-free Chew Valley, representing the group Stop Fracking UK, where heated debates upon the rights, wrongs, dangers and benefits of fracking were hosted. This type of tent would normally be situated in the Green Fields. where it would receive little objection, its prominent position this year highlights how this topic is not only prominent in the mind of the land’s owner, but that of the country.
Despite these attempts to prevent fracking on the site, Petroleum Exploration and Development licences have already been granted across Somerset meaning that the Glastonbury festival site is at risk despite Eavis’ declaration. The Government is looking to alter the trespass laws in such a way that it would be permissible to drill underground for shale gas without the permission of the land owner. The governments of Bulgaria, France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands are all putting a halt on the pursuit of shale gas exploration in the light of warnings from the scientific community and the EU. In spite of this, the UK has shown that it is determined to go ahead with the use of fractional hydraulic extraction.