MP COLUMN: The UK urgently needs to become more self-sufficient

Ian Lavery says it is crucial the UK ramps up its development of sustainable energy.Ian Lavery says it is crucial the UK ramps up its development of sustainable energy.
Ian Lavery says it is crucial the UK ramps up its development of sustainable energy.
The cost of living crisis is well among us now the energy price cap has been lifted, leaving people with massive increases in their bills that they simply cannot afford to pay.

A crucial reason behind the cost of living crisis is the long-term policy decisions that left us relying on imports in an increasingly volatile world, in which we should be working towards self-sufficiency.

This same points have led some people to suggest we should invest heavily in nuclear energy. While this argument is not without merit, the fact is that the UK has no commercially viable uranium that it can mine and therefore will face the same problems of relying on imports for our energy needs rather than becoming self-sufficient.

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But there is an alternative in the form of renewable energy sources. Not only is it crucial that we massively ramp up the development of sustainable energy sources in our battle against climate change, but they will also provide us a strategic advantage of being able to control our own energy sources.

Publicly owned wind and solar panel farms ran in the interest of the people of this country rather than for profit are a key part of the solution.

Granted, this cannot be done overnight and will take time and sufficient long term planning. But there is no reason why we should not be dramatically accelerating our efforts to reach this goal - especially following the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has reminded us of just how fragile the international order we rely on really is.

Yet the government are still failing to take proper action. Grant Schapps the Transport Secretary was on TV on Sunday complaining that wind turbines were an ‘eyesore’ and reports suggest that Boris Johnson will refuse plans to increase onshore wind power in favour of nuclear energy despite the fact that nuclear energy plants take decades to build and are not exactly easy on the eye themselves.

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We cannot afford for the government not to take this seriously.

Not only is this crucial to battling climate change, but our energy security and ability to avoid another catastrophic cost of living crisis depends on making these right decisions in the long term.