Elon Musk recently emphasized on twitter the need for more oil and gas production and called on Europe to focus on nuclear energy for its energy needs. The unexpected tweets of Tesla’s chief appeared when gasoline prices were also rising in the US, and a Ukrainian nuclear power plant was occupied in connection with the somewhat euphemistically described “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Elon Musk on Twitter
He noted that it could also damage sales of electric cars such as Tesla but acknowledged that sustainable energy production could not immediately replace lost Russian oil and gas exports. Russia is one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, providing 10% of global supplies and about 40% of supplies to the European Union. The war has increased tensions between Russia and many countries, including those buying energy supplies from Russia.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden banned oil and gas imports from Russia to the United States, saying European allies were working on strategies to reduce their dependence on Russian energy. On Tuesday, the European Commission outlined its plan to ensure the region’s independence from Russian fossil fuels “much earlier” than in 2030.
Last Sunday, Elon Musk turned his attention to nuclear power after Russia seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.
Many countries have phased out nuclear power following accidents, such as the partial meltdown of the reactor on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, the Chernobyl accident in 1986, and the Fukushima accident in 2011. The Chernobyl accident occurred when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union; Russian troops currently occupy the former power plant site.
Germany is one of the European countries that is turning away from nuclear energy. In 2011, then-Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the transition to new energy. Nuclear power and coal will be phased out in favor of renewables. In the meantime, however, Germany has become more dependent on natural gas and coal supplies from Russia, Bloomberg noted. However, after the invasion of Ukraine, Germany surprised Russia by stopping the approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which runs from Russia directly to Germany.