The United States is enjoying an energy bonanza thanks to shale gas, making it a magnet for industry, reducing import dependence and challenging Europe as it battles to dig itself out of recession, energy officials say. Panelists at a weekend security conference in Munich warned Europe must develop a strategy on how to tap its own resources in order to keep energy costs competitive, or risk seeing power-intensive industries locate elsewhere.
“Observing this from across the Atlantic it is really quite remarkable that there should be a ban or a go-slow on this development in Europe, really without any facts,” said Daniel Yergin, Vice-Chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research.
While Europe retains deep environmental concerns it also acknowledges that with the price of gas in the United States just a third of that in Germany, its industry is already suffering the effects. German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said: “Many German firms have opted for (relocation to) the United States, saying energy prices were the decisive factor…We are already seeing that we are suffering with our higher energy prices…it affects our own competiveness.”