The transport secretary has said energy will not be rationed in the UK, despite pressure on supplies globally.

Grant Shapps ruled this out after Labour’s shadow business secretary suggested ministers might need to prepare for rationing.

Some European countries have moved towards rationing as energy costs rise and supplies tighten.

Mr Shapps told the BBC the energy strategy would be announced later this week.

Plans to expand nuclear and wind power are expected to form part of the strategy, which has been delayed amid cost concerns.

When pressed on whether he can completely rule out energy rationing, he told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “Yes, I can. It’s not the route that we want to go down.”

He was responding to Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds who told the programme: “The government should be preparing, not necessarily in public for that situation.”

But Mr Reynolds later told Times Radio the UK should be not be rationing energy right now.

Wind power debate

As Mr Shapps ruled out rationing, he said wind farms were an “immense invisible national resource” that could be exploited more and that it was better to build significant wind power offshore.

While he said there may be occasions where onshore wind farms made sense, he added: “I don’t think we want to cover every inch of land in onshore wind farms.”

In turn offshore wind “performs better because it tends to be windier” and can be built “much, much bigger”, he said.

The government is looking to increase the amount of energy generated by nuclear power

He made the comments after he told Sky News that he did not favour “a vast increase in onshore wind farms”, calling them an “eyesore for communities”.

Sources have told the BBC onshore wind will feature in the government’s energy strategy, despite some opposition within the cabinet.

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