Elon Musk says world needs more oil and gas as bridge to renewables

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 as Russia is lowering natural gas deliveries to the region and nuclear power-plant outages in France further sap supply.

Europe’s politicians have already earmarked about 280 billion euros ($278 billion) to ease the pain of surging prices 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 ocean wind has “massive untapped potential” and added he’s a proponent of nuclear energy.

“If you have a well-designed nuclear plant, you should not shut it down — especially right now,” he said.

Tesla makes products including electric cars, solar roofs and batteries that contribute to decarbonizing the transport and energy sectors. –BLOOMBERG