Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, issued a warning on Monday to powers across the globe, saying that the global economy is being placed at risk due to a rushed search for renewable energy.
Energy prices in many developed countries, especially in Western European nations, who have made a significant push towards renewable energy, have soared following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Natural gas prices in areas like Germany and France have risen up to 10 times higher than usual.
At a Norway energy conference, Musk, who has been a proponent of renewable energy, admitted that “some additional exploration” of oil and gas resources “is warranted at this time.”
“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Musk told reporters. “One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy. That will take some decades to complete.”
The European Union as a whole, which Norway is not a member of, claims that they are attempting to be “a climate-neutral society” by 2050 in accordance with the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement.
Switzerland and Germany are two of multiple countries who have been progressively shutting down nuclear power plants, a reaction to the 2011 meltdown of the plant in Fukushima, Japan. Germany plans to proceed with the scheduled closure of its three remaining nuclear plants before the end of the year, despite having imported 55% of its gas from Russia prior to the invasion.
Musk gave a similar warning to the United States earlier this year, commenting that, despite the harm that Tesla might experience, a change was needed to combat rising gas prices for everyday Americans.
“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” Musk tweeted. “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”