Some argue that the solution to rising energy prices and energy security concerns lies not in cutting demand for energy imports by improving energy efficiency whilst expanding Europe’s renewable energy capacity, but in exploiting the substantial European shale gas reserves. They point to the example of the US as showing the way forward. In the US the shale gas boom has seen liquid natural gas imports reduced by 77% from their 2007 peak by 2012  and US gas spot prices reduce from a 2008 average of $8.86 to $3.73 in 2013. The US is expected to start exporting shale gas from 2015. Building on the US example, it is frequently argued that European shale gas represents a plentiful and cheap source of energy that will not just cut European energy prices but also improve energy security and help address climate change.
This briefing looks at whether the fundamentals underpinning the proposed EU shale gas revolution support these claims.