Energy regulator Ofgem once again warns of risk of UK energy blackouts

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Ofgem has issued a further warning of the risk of potential blackouts in the UK.

The energy regulator has warned electricity power capacity could fall as low as two per cent by 2015 and has also suggested more investment in power generation is essential in order to protect energy consumers.

A number of factors are to blame for the heightened risk of energy shortages according to Ofgem. These factors include the global financial crisis, the UK's over reliance on gas imports and closing of many of its older power stations and tough emission targets.

Ofgem chief executive, Andrew Wright, said: "Ofgem's analysis indicates a faster than anticipated tightening of electricity margins toward the middle of this decade.

"Ofgem, together with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and National Grid, think it is prudent to consider giving National Grid additional tools now to procure electricity supplies to protect consumers as the margin between available supply and demand tightens in the mid-decade."

To combat such concerns, National Grid, a major electricity network owner, has proposed large energy consumers like big shops and factories could be asked to lower use between 16:00 and 20:00 on weekdays in the winter - although a consultation would be required to discuss things such as payments being offered in return for the disruption to peek time energy use.

The Government launched its Green Deal initiative at the end of January to try to get more people to make their home energy-efficient. Under the scheme, energy consumers can contact their energy supplier and look into fitting a new boiler or loft and wall insulation, cutting down power usage and also carbon emissions.

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