IT’S extraordinary how our efforts to be energy self-sufficient have become a battlefield.
The two sides grow ever more distant.
In part, that’s because the gap between what we’ve signed up to, and what’s achievable, yawns wider.
It’s true that the war in Ukraine has not helped.
Energy costs have rocketed, with knock on effects for domestic fuel, petrol and industry.
In Germany, the Russian squeeze on gas has made it harder and more costly to buy.
Recession there beckons after the country closed all its nuclear and coal-fired power stations.
Here, too, our energy security is precarious, though UK imports of Russian gas are minimal, at four per cent.
This week, we were forced to turn to Belgium for electricity when the heatwave threatened to knock out the London power grid, highlighting our reliance on Northern European ‘interconnectors’.
Time for some pragmatism, you might think.
Not for the green lobby, though, which has called a halt to fracking and several, new oilfields in the North Sea.
Greenpeace has already started a judicial review into Shell’s recently granted licence to explore the Jackdaw field.
And climate change protestors glue themselves to roads, oil terminals and trains, totally missing the point.
Returning to the Dark Ages will benefit no one.
However, Net Zero is a laudable aim and the UK has been particularly responsive, accelerating its target to reach nil carbon emissions earlier than 2050.
With a mix of renewables, new nuclear and a declining amount of fossil fuels, we might just make it.
In the meantime, let’s continue to invest and innovate as that’s the only way we will make a greener future credible.