- Grant Shapps pledges greater UK energy independence as a necessity in wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine and vows to deliver this
- comes as UK and US Energy Secretaries meet in London for the first time
- US-UK Strategic Energy Dialogue comes at a critical moment as the UK and US kick-start new avenues for international collaboration
- both ministers will meet with green innovators, to facilitate joint investment and scale up for British and American companies
The UK and US stand united in delivering a cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy future, Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps and US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said today.
For the UK, Grant Shapps pledged this would mean ever greater energy independence – powering Britain from Britain by switching to home-grown sources including nuclear and renewables.
Meeting in London for the first time the 2 heads of the UK and US energy departments made clear they stand shoulder to shoulder with President Zelensky and the citizens of Ukraine in their fight against the Russian invasion – the cause of unprecedented global rises in energy prices.
Grant Shapps said Putin’s illegal march on Ukraine had demonstrated the need for ever greater energy independence, powering Britain from Britain through ever greater use of sources like renewables and nuclear.
The meeting comes at a crucial moment for the global energy market following Russia’s barbaric targeting of Ukraine’s energy system, and the secretaries of state spoke on how the war has reminded countries around the world that without cheaper, greener, and more secure energy, there is no route to long-term prosperity for any nation.
With a shared belief that nations should be sovereign, democratic and free, Grant Shapps and Jennifer Granholm said they would work together to undermine Putin’s ability to fund his illegal war through Russian oil and petroleum products exports, and to support their European partners in their efforts to end reliance on Russian energy.
The move to renewables and other green energy sources, and the need to tackle climate change, were at the forefront of discussions at a dedicated Green Investors Roundtable chaired by both secretaries of states – offering opportunities for joint investment by British and American companies.
This comes as both nations lay the foundations for a shared approach to energy, one that drives growth and brings down bills to protect businesses and households from volatile oil and gas markets.
The UK government is also making huge strides to create a cheaper, cleaner energy system – one that increases the country’s energy independence. This includes recently completing the largest offshore wind farm in the world, generating affordable, renewable electricity for British homes and businesses, as well as taking historic steps in investing a direct stake in a nuclear project’s development for the first time since 1987 – which will create home-grown energy of the future.
In the US, solar power developers plan to install a record 29.1 GW of utility-scale capacity in 2023 alone, almost triple the previous year. States like Georgia are benefiting from new jobs across electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, and California is eyeing new transmission networks to connect floating offshore wind to the West Coast electricity grid.
UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary of State Grant Shapps said:
Secretary Granholm and I stand shoulder to shoulder in our unending support for Ukraine, and in ensuring that neither Putin nor any tyrant ever think they can hold the world to ransom through their energy supply.
The war has shown the UK, the US and countries the world over the need for ever greater energy independence, fueled by moves away from fossil fuels and towards home grown sources like renewables and nuclear. Today I’m pledging to deliver that energy independence – backed by my ambition for lower wholesale electricity prices in the longer term.
This will also open up opportunities for UK and US companies to work together at the cutting edge of these technologies while also strengthening the historic ties of cooperation between our two countries.
US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said:
The United States stands alongside the United Kingdom in support of Ukraine against Russia’s brutal war and its weaponization of energy markets. We are keenly aware that remaining overly reliant on fossil fuels puts our energy security at risk and that the solution lies in diversifying our fuel sources through the deployment of clean energy.
The Biden-Harris Administration has put into place powerful tools such as the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to lower costs and advance new energy technologies, and we look forward to continue building on a long history of collaboration around our shared clean energy ambitions that will deliver homegrown security and greater independence.
Notes to editors
Announced by Prime Minister Johnson and President Biden on 10 June 2021, the Strategic Energy Dialogue is the primary bilateral forum to enhance and expand cooperation in support of US and UK shared energy security and resilience objectives, clean energy and net zero ambitions, and joint leadership priorities in multilateral energy forums.
The US-UK Strategic Energy Dialogue is complemented by the Joint Action Group for Energy Security and Affordability that was established by our 2 countries in December 2022 to accelerate cooperation on short-term action to support energy security and affordability in the United Kingdom and across Europe.
Mr Shapps has made clear his ambition for the UK to have the cheapest wholesale electricity prices in Europe by the middle of the next decade, and in the short term, the government is covering around half of the typical households’ energy bills this winter to support families.