The world needs more oil and gas now to deal with an energy shortage while pushing to transition to renewable supplies, Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said.
“At this time, we actually need more oil and gas, not less,” Musk said Monday during an energy conference in Norway, adding that he’s not someone to “demonize” the fossil fuels. At the same time, “we must have a clear path to a sustainable energy future.”
Musk made his comments as Europe is grappling with its worst energy crisis in decades, with Russia lowering natural gas deliveries to the region and nuclear power-plant outages in France further sapping supply. Wholesale energy prices have soared to records in the past months.
Europe’s politicians have already earmarked about 280 billion euros ($278 billion) to ease the pain of surging costs for businesses and consumers, but the aid risks being dwarfed by the scale of the crisis. The European Union will call an emergency meeting of energy ministers to discuss bloc-wide solutions.
Musk said the transition to a sustainable economy should be “as fast as possible,” adding that ocean wind has “massive untapped potential” and that he’s also a proponent of nuclear energy.
Norway, the host of the ONS energy conference where Musk spoke, is in the midst of a transition itself. The country, which gets most of its electricity from hydropower, has been an early adopter of electric cars thanks to generous government incentives, and plans to sell only emissions-free vehicles by mid-decade. At the same time, it got rich on oil and uses a $1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund to cover budget spending shortfalls.