Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, issued a warning on Monday, saying that seeking a hurried transition to renewable energy puts the world economy at danger.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy costs have skyrocketed in many affluent nations, especially those in western Europe that rely largely on renewable energy. For example, natural gas prices in Germany and France have increased by an order of magnitude above average levels. Musk stated that “some extra exploration” of oil and gas resources “is required at this moment” during an energy conference in Norway.
In all honesty, I believe we must use oil and gas in the near future, or else civilization would collapse, Musk told reporters. “The switch to sustainable energy and a sustainable economy is one of the largest challenges the world has ever faced. It will take several decades to accomplish that.
Indeed, a lot of wealthy nations are moving away from traditional energy sources and toward renewables in their energy mix. As a result, according to information from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, output of oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels in Norway peaked in 2004 and has since been slowly declining. In line with the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement, the European Union, of which Norway is not a part, seeks to become “a climate-neutral society” by 2050.
In the meanwhile, a number of nations are gradually shutting down their nuclear power facilities in response to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011. Germany will probably move through with the planned closing of its three remaining nuclear facilities by the end of the year. Prior to the war, Germany bought 55% of its gas from Russia.
Despite potential harm to Tesla, which only produces electric automobiles, Musk issued a similar warning to the United States earlier this year. He said on social media that “exceptional times need extraordinary measures” and that sustainable energy solutions “just cannot react quickly” to deal with decreasing energy supply.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the national average cost of gasoline was $2.38 per gallon when Pres. Joe Biden took office and rose to $3.53 per gallon by the commencement of the Russian invasion. According to AAA, prices reached their highest at $5.00 per gallon in early June before falling to $3.85 as of Monday.
Despite this, a number of jurisdictions, notably California, Massachusetts, and Washington, are attempting to outlaw the sale of new gas-powered vehicles to comply with California Air Resources Board regulations. Governor Jay Inslee of Washington (D) declared that the target of “all new automobile sales to have zero emissions by 2030 is a key milestone in our battle against climate change.”
But Virginia’s Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, rejected the measure and pledged to stop it from having an effect on his state.
Youngkin said in a statement that “liberal Democrats who previously controlled our government sold Virginia out by subjecting Virginia drivers to California car restrictions in an attempt to make Virginia become like California. Under that agreement, Virginians will now be compelled to adopt the California legislation that forbids the sale of automobiles powered by gas and diesel. I’m already at work to stop Virginians from being subjected to this absurd order. The outdated laws of California have no place in our Commonwealth.”