On a rainy, windswept day a couple of weeks ago, I stood on the Aberdeenshire coast and laid my hand on the main pipeline bringing natural gas into this country. Britain was in the early throes of the energy crisis which is still reverberating at the time of writing; motorists were queueing at petrol stations; a series of power companies had collapsed amid astonishingly high gas prices. Yet here, beneath my hand, somewhere between 10% and 20% of this country’s natural gas was passing noiselessly within the thick steel walls of this pipe. Installations like the gas terminal at St Fergus are part of the infrastructure without which this country would grind to a halt. Fortified by barbed wire, patrolled by military guards, ringed by chimneys whose roaring gas flares light the twilight sky, sites like these seem like a vision of Britain’s 20th century past, not its green, renewable future. Yet even as Britain burns more gas and coal than it has done for years, old fossil fuel sites such as this one are quietly plotting to reinvent themselves as the saviours of the climate. Advertisement As this country attempts to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and get to the… Read full this story
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