Sollte Europa sich aufs Fracking verlegen?

BRÜSSEL: Die globale Energiegemeinschaft ist in heller Aufregung über das sogenannte Hydraulic Fracturing oder „Fracking“, eine relativ neue Technologie, die die Erschließung bisher unzugänglicher, in unterirdischen Schieferformationen eingeschlossener Gasreserven erlaubt. Dank des Booms bei der Schiefergasproduktion sind die USA inzwischen in die Lage, ihren Erdgasbedarf fast vollständig selbst zu decken.

Europa dagegen hinkt hier eindeutig hinterher. Die Erkundung kommt nur zögerlich voran, und die Schiefergas-Förderung hat noch nicht einmal begonnen. Dies hat viele Beobachter zu der Klage animiert, Europa sei dabei, die nächste Revolution auf dem Energiesektor zu verschlafen. Sollten sich die Europäer Sorgen machen?

Die Kritiker des scheinbaren Mangels an Begeisterung in Europa übersehen zwei zentrale Punkte. Erstens unterscheiden sich die geologischen Bedingungen in Europa von denen in Amerika. Es besteht ein enormer Unterschied zwischen potenziell irgendwo in den großen Schieferformationen versteckten Vorkommen und solchen, die sich tatsächlich wirtschaftlich ausbeuten lassen.

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