Fracking is one of the least sustainable forms of energy production, according to a recently published UK study. Out of nine different methods of energy production, hydraulic fracking ranked seventh in terms of sustainability. Wind and solar power were considered the two most sustainable and coal was the least sustainable.
Researchers took a holistic approach and integrated environmental, social and economic aspects of different methods of energy production in order to analyze the overall sustainability of each one. Researchers projected fracking would need to become 329 times less environmentally impactful and offer 16 times as much employment for it to become the most sustainable form of energy production.
While countries like France have banned fracking, the U.S. has one of the largest shale industries in the world. Researchers say they hope the results from the study are taken into consideration by policymakers as the UK tiptoes on the cusp of developing a shale industry.