Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK strengthens collaboration on energy security and fusion [February 2024]

The press release issued by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero on 14 February 2024.

The Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho, met with European allies this week to discuss plans to transition away from Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG), following the UK’s lead.

At a ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, the Secretary of State also signed a landmark new fusion partnership with Canada, bringing the UK a step closer to developing a near limitless source of clean energy.

The Memorandum of Understanding with Canada on fusion energy will seek to improve collaboration on research and development, harmonise the approach to regulation, and develop the workforce and skills base. This will strengthen cooperation between the UK and Canada to support the deployment of fusion worldwide. It will also support the UK’s £650 million fusion programme, cementing the UK as a world leader in this innovative technology.

The energy generated from fusion is many million times more efficient than burning coal, oil or gas and could generate a near unlimited supply of clean electricity – transforming global efforts to reach net zero and delivering long-term energy independence.

This is the UK’s second formal international fusion collaboration following the announcement of a partnership with the USA in November 2023.

The Energy Security Secretary also met with allies to discuss energy security and how to build on the progress made to date to target Russia’s energy sector, with the UK having led the way in banning all imports of Russian oil and gas after Putin’s illegal invasion.

It follows the UK recently announcing a £300 million investment to become the first country in Europe outside of Russia to launch a high-tech HALEU nuclear fuel programme, driving Putin further out of global energy markets.

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said:

A more diverse and secure energy mix will bring down bills in the long term and that’s why we are working closely with our European allies to end dependency on Russian gas.

The UK is also leading the world in fusion research, which could provide a near limitless supply of clean energy. This landmark partnership with Canada will strengthen co-operation between our countries and support our record-breaking British research – bringing us closer to making fusion a reality.

The UK has provided £150 million for Ukraine’s energy sector since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion and is a key partner in supporting Ukraine to rebuild and transition.

The UK also announced £12 million at COP28 for the IEA’s Clean Energy Transition Programme to support developing countries to accelerate their green transitions – the biggest ever voluntary contribution.

The event in Paris was the first international meeting of energy ministers since COP28 and marks the 50th anniversary of the IEA.