Balcombe, target of fracking protests, greens up

Balcombe, British scene of fracking protests, takes solar energy steps.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  March 28, 2014 at 10:06 AM
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Solar installations in Balcombe, a village at the heart of the British fracking debate, is a rebuttal of national energy policy, Friends of the Earth say. British shale explorer Cuadrilla Resources last year was the target of major protests after it started exploratory drilling in the region. Protesters were concerned the drilling campaign was a prelude to a hydraulic fracturing operation, though the process known also as fracking was not conducted at the site.

Friends of the Earth said news that Balcombe decided to install solar panels on village roofs was a step away from London's reliance on fossil fuels.

"People don’t need to accept risky fracking on their doorsteps," campaigner Brenda Pollack said in a statement Thursday. "It’s great to see community energy initiatives like this that enable local residents to produce their own clean and safe power."

The British government is looking to replicate the U.S. success with shale natural gas, though the program is in its infancy.

Cuadrilla in January sent a letter to village residents saying it was applying for an extension to a license for exploration in the area but found natural fractures in Balcombe's shale that may prohibit fracking.

[The Times of London]

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