Boris Johnson’s energy strategy will only lead to more battles ahead over nuclear power and wind farms



It is 26 days since Boris Johnson announced to Parliament that he would “draw up an energy dependency plan for this country over the next few days”.

It is not surprising that the plan for Britain’s long-term energy strategy has taken more than a few days to assemble – but finally this Thursday we will see the Prime Minister’s ideas to move away from Russian oil and gas and move all our energy needs to renewable sources.

Not for the first time, Mr Johnson’s aides have been cursed by his tendency to overlift. The plan has been delayed not only by the inherent complexity of the subject, but also of the need to get Rishi Sunak on side.

The chancellor and his finance team tend to oppose signing any policy that requires big puppets of government money – and there is no way to build a new green economy without the state at least guaranteeing the plans, although much of the funding will come from the private sector.

Finally, the prime minister seems to have won over his troublesome neighbor. It may have helped that Mr Sunak suffers from a persistent violence over the Spring Declaration, the first real political pickling he has encountered during his gilded career.

The outline of the energy plan is clear: In the short term, you must increase the use of North Sea oil and gas, and by the end of the decade switch to nuclear power as a basic fuel with wind and solar energy, which contributes to most of the country’s needs when available.

But talk is cheap. We can expect many years of planning battle ahead as local leaders battle nuclear power plants and wind farms in their places. The energy disputes we have already seen could pale in comparison.

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