The business secretary has rejected onshore fracking for gas as the solution to swollen energy prices.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Kwasi Kwarteng pointed instead to investment in “cheap, clean power” in order to protect the UK from global gas markets.
Extra supply generated from untapped shale reserves in the UK “won’t materially affect the wholesale market price,” Kwarteng said.
“This includes fracking – UK producers won’t sell shale gas to UK consumers below the market price. They’re not charities.”
While it would be “complete madness” to turn off the country’s domestic source of gas and the government would continue to “back North Sea gas for energy security,” the minister said the country should look to alternative energy sources.
As gas is more expensive than renewable energy, the UK must invest in nuclear and renewable energy as a long-term solution to soaring prices in Europe.
“The more cheap, clean power we generate at home, the less exposed we’ll be to global gas markets,” he said.
The government would also invest in upgrading homes to be more energy efficient was this was “the best way to keep energy bills down.”
It comes as dozens of energy firms have collapsed since last summer in the wake of spiralling wholesale gas costs, with four million customers impacted.
In recent days, there have also been warnings that the consumer price cap could spike to £3,000 per year this autumn, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The price cap is already set to rise 50 per cent from April to nearly £2,000, inflaming concerns about a cost of living crisis as fuel and grocery bills also rise.