- Boris Johnson said ‘now is the time to make a series of big new bets on nuclear’
- The Prime Minister said that the UK must end its ‘addiction’ to Russian oil and gas
- He also signalled Government will boost domestic North Sea energy production
Boris Johnson said the UK must make ‘big new bets’ on developing new nuclear power stations to end the nation’s ‘addiction’ to Russian oil and gas.
The Prime Minister will unveil his British Energy Security Strategy later this month which will set out how the country will achieve energy independence.
The document will have a major focus on increasing the roll-out of renewable energy sources as the Government remains committed to its net zero emissions by 2050 target.
But it will also push for the development of more nuclear power capability, including through small modular reactors as well as larger power stations.
Meanwhile, the PM has also signalled the Government will boost the domestic production of North Sea oil and gas in the short term, as he said it is ‘crazy’ the UK is importing energy from Russia when it has its own resources it can draw on.
Boris Johnson said the UK must make ‘big new bets’ on developing new nuclear power stations to end the nation’s ‘addiction’ to Russian oil and gas
Mr Johnson said it is ‘crazy’ the UK is importing energy from Russia when it has its own resources it can draw on
Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Johnson said Vladimir Putin knew when he launched his invasion of Ukraine that ‘the world would find it very hard to punish him’ because he had ‘created an addiction’ to Russian energy.
The premier said ‘we cannot go on like this’ as he repeated his calls for the West to wean itself off of Russian oil and gas.
Mr Johnson argued that Mr Putin’s strength is his ‘vast resource of hydrocarbons’ but this is also his weakness because he has ‘virtually nothing else’ the world wants to buy.
‘If the world can end its dependence on Russian oil and gas, we can starve him of cash, destroy his strategy and cut him down to size,’ he said.
The PM said it is time for the world ‘to stop mainlining Russian hydrocarbons – and we have to accept that such a move will be painful’.
The premier said the UK will become more ‘self-sufficient’ and ‘at the heart of the strategy is green energy of all kinds’.
He said green energy is ‘invulnerable to Putin’s manipulations’ but ‘we also need baseload energy – power that can be relied upon when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing’.
‘So now is the time to make a series of big new bets on nuclear power,’ he said.
‘The 1997 Labour manifesto said there was “no economic case” for more nuclear – even though nuclear is in fact safe, clean and reliable.
‘It is time to reverse that historic mistake, with a strategy that includes small modular reactors as well as the larger power stations.’
Mr Johnson also signalled the Government will try to increase North Sea oil and gas production.
He said: ‘It is crazy that we are importing oil and gas from Putin’s Russia – when we have our own resources in the North Sea. It is time to give investors more confidence in British hydrocarbons.’
Mr Johnson said the shift away from Russian energy will be ‘difficult’ but ‘it can be done’.
The PM has also signalled the Government will boost the domestic production of North Sea oil and gas
He said Mr Putin has been able to ‘get away with too much for too long because he has encouraged and exploited a Western addiction to his oil and gas’.
The PM said ‘that addiction must now end’.
Mr Johnson also said the West made a ‘terrible mistake’ by letting Mr Putin ‘get away’ with his invasion of Crimea in 2014.
His comments come as he is rumoured to be travelling to Saudi Arabia to ask for it to help bring down world oil prices despite outrage over the country’s execution of 81 men at the weekend.
Source: The Daily Mail