Newsletter – March 2020

This newsletter comes to you in strange, unprecedented times. We hope you are keeping safe and well.


Sheffield Against Fracking meetings

As we’re unable to meet in person, our monthly meetings are going to be done online until further notice. Our work carries on and it’s now more important than ever to keep in touch and support each other.

We’ll be using Zoom, which you can download for free here (desktop version). You can also download the app to your mobile via the App Store or Google Play (this is also free).

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 7th April at 7.30pm. If you’d like to take part, please email us and we’ll send you instructions.

We hope you can join us.


Latest news

Planning applications for UK clean energy projects hit new high
Planning applications for UK clean energy projects hit new high
Photo credit: Karsten Würth on Unsplash

The number of new renewable energy projects applying for planning permission reached a four-year high in the UK last year as energy companies raced to meet the rising demand for clean electricity.

There were 269 planning applications for new wind, solar and bioenergy projects in 2019, up from 204 the year before, according to an analysis of government data by energy consultancy PX Group.

The jump in applications last year was the biggest annual increase in recent years and 75% higher than the number of annual planning submissions made three years ago. There were just 154 submissions in 2016, rising to 185 in 2017.

The consultancy said there was a growing appetite among energy companies for new renewable projects to help cut carbon emissions and reach the UK’s climate goals.

Read the full article on

Government’s shale support fund underspent by £3.8m

A peer is seeking to change the law to ban fracking and the licensing of oil and gas exploration, through a private members bill.

A government fund to help English councils deal with shale gas planning applications appears to have paid out just 20% of what was available.

A ministerial answer last week revealed that the shale support fund, which ran for five years until February 2020, paid nearly £1m to mineral planning authorities.

But analysis by DrillOrDrop shows that the government allocated £4.8m to the fund during that period.

In the first year, just 5% of the total was awarded.

The largest annual sum paid out – £365,000 in 2016-2017 – was just over a third of the fund’s total for that year.

The figures are another indicator of the slow progress of UK shale gas development.

Read the full article on

Cuadrilla breaches pollution rules again

The fracking company, Cuadrilla, has breached rules on monitoring the flare at its Preston New Road shale gas site in Lancashire.

The breach happened in autumn 2019 during nitrogen lifting – a technique used to clear waste from a well and increase the flow of gas.

The operation had just been approved, despite opposition from local people, at the time of the breach.

This is the latest in a series of low-level failures by Cuadrilla to comply with the environmental permit at its site near Blackpool.

Read the full article on

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