Govt's energy strategy ensures the UK is never again 'blackmailed by Putin', says Boris

7 April 2022, 11:10 | Updated: 7 April 2022, 16:16

Boris Johnson says the Government's energy strategy is about "tackling some of the mistakes of the past"
Boris Johnson says the Government's energy strategy is about "tackling some of the mistakes of the past". Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The Government's energy strategy is about "tackling some of the mistakes of the past" and making sure that the UK will never again be subjected to "blackmail by people such as Vladimir Putin", Boris Johnson has said.

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It comes as the long-awaited strategy has been labelled a "missed opportunity" as Brits continue to struggle with soaring prices.

The Government pledged to take back control of energy prices with "cleaner and more affordable energy", aiming to make 95 per cent of electricity low carbon by 2030.

Explaining the move on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "It's a mix of energy sources and the reason why we need a diverse mix is because that gives you security.

"Just as in any other form of long-term planning, you can't put all your eggs in one basket - we can't simply just rely on one technology.

"We've got a mix of technologies we talk about in the strategy - nuclear, offshore wind, and also other new, exciting technologies like hydrogen."

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Speaking at Hinkley Point C, Boris Johnson denied that the Government was doing nothing to help families in the short term, adding that measures to help people with bills in the short term would instead come from other Government policies.

He said: "We are really doing a huge amount for the immediate cost of living.

"This (energy strategy) is about tackling the mistakes of the past and making sure that we are set well for the future and we are never again subject to the vagaries of the global oil and gas prices and we can't be subject to blackmail, as it were, from people such as Vladimir Putin, we have energy security here in the UK.

"It is a massive strategy for delivering 50GW - almost half the total energy capacity of this country - from offshore wind by 2030, totally reviving the nuclear industry which, I am afraid, has been more or less moribund in this country.

"This is the home of nuclear energy - we first split the atom in the UK, we had the first civilian nuclear power plant, we are bringing nuclear home."

Under fresh plans a new body, Great British Nuclear, will be launched to bolster the UK's nuclear capacity with the hope of up to 24 gigawatts (GW) of electricity by 2050 coming from the source of power, 25 per cent of the projected electricity demand.

It is hoped the focus on nuclear will deliver up to eight reactors, equivalent to one reactor a year instead of one a decade.

Shadow Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband told Nick Ferrari: "I'm in favour of new nuclear power but these stations they're talking about won't be built for at least 10 years.

"And what's happened is the government has rejected the cheapest, cleanest, most secure forms of power: onshore winds and solar.

"Essentially, they have given not a penny more for energy efficiency, which is a way we can be cutting bills in the months ahead.

"I'm afraid this is a massive missed opportunity and it won't do anything for at least 10 years for the struggles your listeners are facing.

He added: "We could insulate two million homes in the next year and 19 million over the next 10 years with our plan."