THERE needs to be a reality check about the production and use of energy during the next few years. We are advised that soon during winter demand for electricity may outstrip supply.

The primary reason for this is that politicians failed to make the right decisions on the development of replacement capacity for polluting and ageing coal and nuclear capacity.

The suggestion to replace that capacity with renewables in the time frame concerned is simply naive. Gas will continue to increase in use and importance for many years.

While there are environmental concerns about the extraction and use of “unconventional” gas from coal beds and shales, there is a strong case for exploiting these reserves, while developing and building low-carbon capacity, including replacement nuclear plants.

In The Press of July 23 feature on fracking, most of the important factors were mentioned, but I was dismayed by the graphic showing how it works.

The vertical boreholes in the Vale of York area would be over one kilometre deep before they would be turned horizontally into the shale strata where the fracking would take place. At these depths the earth tremor issue will probably be of little significance.

The main concerns will be those of use of water resources, the storage of chemicals, the retention and disposal of used fracking water and the transport of these materials to and from the surface sites.

It may also be necessary to purify the gas before it enters pipelines. City of York Council might do well to consult CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) policy and guidance on fracking, because if and when it takes place the operations will be in the rural parts of greater York.

David Randon, Blue Slates Close, Wheldrake, York.