One of the positive outcomes of the Coronavirus crisis has been a surge in interest in renewable energy. With the world's economies struggling to get back on track after lockdown, governments are keen to further invest in tomorrow's industries, including clean green renewable energy. The green energy sector offers the potential for countries such as Britain to provide billions of pounds and hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs, building the economy at a time when it needs growth most.
This focus on renewables means that people are also asking whether fracking is now off the table. This controversial practice was pursued heavily by the last government, to outrage from local communities in particular, who were directly impacted by fracking operations.
Fracking uses sand, water and chemicals to crack open gas- and oil-bearing rocks under pressure. The technology has been used heavily to extract the last fossil fuels from the Earth. In fact, in the US, shale oil represented 63% of the country's total crude oil production.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the industry hit hard. Oil production as a whole has dropped with demand. The economics alone may cause it to falter as demand struggles to catch up once again. Politics is another huge factor, along with consumer demand. Investors are increasingly concerned about the ethics of their investments, and public opinion is now heavily weighed against polluting practices.
Last week, the government confirmed that fracking in the UK was almost certainly over, with Kwasi Kwarten, the Energy Minister, saying that the government had 'moved on' after the evidence - combined with public opinion - had led them to believe that other technologies were better. This certainly spells good news for the renewable energy industry, for consumers and for the environment as a whole.