The new UK energy strategy contains an ambition to deliver up to eight new nuclear reactors before 2030. Sounds good, until you balance that against the fact that the UK currently has 15 reactors, which supply about 20% of demand - and most of them are due to cease operating before the end of the decade.
A former colleague commented that “The Net Zero delusion is nothing more than a few rich, privileged people thinking that by importing half of the gas that Britain needs, by importing up to 10% of our electricity from France, by importing increasing amounts of oil and coal, somehow, they're saving the planet.” Is he right, or are they simply trying to keep their bit of the planet clean whilst shifting all the pollution halfway round the world?
They are perfectly happy for our heavy industries to move out to China and India because they believe that they're reducing carbon dioxide output; they're not - they're simply outsourcing it.
More bad news is included in the government’s new plans. A new government body - called Great British Nuclear - will be set up to oversee the delivery of new nuclear plants. The last thing that British tax payers need is an increase in government pen pushers. We should be slashing the number of quangos, not creating new ones.
The real problem with that now is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the world and it isn't going to go back for many, many years. If we rely on France to sell us electricity, on Putin, Norway, or Qatar to sell us natural gas, there will eventually come a point when genuine shortages mean that those countries choose to look after themselves. Who wouldn’t do the same?
It has been a lazy approach to energy - thankfully not as lazy as Germany and the EU, whose payments for Russian gas continue to bankroll Putin’s war effort to the tune of £2bn a week.
The Severn Barrage with a road link between Wales and Somerset using proven technology as at Rance could have been built thirty years ago. That it hasn’t been, is a stain on successive administrations. Mr Johnson said the new strategy was about "tackling the mistakes of the past and making sure that we are set well for the future". The Tories have been in power for the greater part of the last thirty years, so do we take that as an admission of guilt? That word “Delusional” keeps cropping up.