Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's article in the Telegraph: 12 March 2024

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's piece in the Telegraph

 The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP

[Please note: Political content has been redacted from this article.]

You can’t protect national security without delivering energy security. The war in Ukraine reminded us all of that. A nation that is dependent on the whims of dictators for its energy supply can never be truly safe.

That is why we stopped Russian energy imports and are standing on our own two feet. Instead of empowering Putin, we are powering Britain – delivering new sources of home-grown energy, with new nuclear power plants, record investment in renewables, and new oil and gas licences in the North Sea.

We should be proud that our domestic energy production is thriving, directly supporting over 160,000 jobs, with tens of thousands more along the supply chains. And we should be proud that we are on track to meet our net zero targets.

By rolling out wind and solar power, heat pumps and home insulation, we have cut the role of fossil fuels across the UK’s electricity system. Emissions from the power sector are down by 65 per cent since 2010. While other nations continue to build coal-fired power stations, our last one is closing this year.

We’re going further and faster than ever to deliver green energy, in a way that doesn’t place extra burdens on the British people. But our analysis – underpinned by research out today – shows that we will need gas generation in the immediate term to meet rising demand. Ultimately, we will meet this demand with renewables and with new, cleaner gas technologies to abate emissions. We’re investing millions to achieve this, but it will take time. So in the short term we will need more unabated gas power capacity.

The Climate Change Committee also supports a defined role for gas generation in 2035. But this exposes a new challenge, because much of our existing gas capacity is nearing the end of its life.

So it’s time to grasp the nettle. It’s time to set out the plan to secure our energy supplies on the road to net zero – and that’s what we’re doing today.

While we will continue leading the world in renewable power we will also take decisive action to boost our gas power capacity. First, by extending the life of existing gas facilities, where it is practical to do so. Second, by building the necessary new capacity to replace the gas-fired power plants that will need to be retired.

When the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, this is how we will keep your lights on and your bills down. It is the insurance policy Britain needs to protect our energy security, while we deliver our net zero transition.

[Please note: Political content redacted here]

So this is our plan. We will deliver net zero, but not by piling thousands of pounds worth of costs onto households, and not by imperilling national security by relying on the likes of Russia. Ultimately, we will use British energy to deliver British energy security – making our nation safer, stronger and more prosperous for generations to come.

From: Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP