Centrica chief warns of future energy price hikes

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Power companies are shelving investment plans, meaning the UK faces higher electricity and gas bills in the coming three years, it has been claimed.

Speaking to the Observer, Centrica's chief executive Sam Laidlaw said that unless the government increases the financial support available for offshore windfarms the UK will have little chance of meeting its 2020 renewable energy targets.

According to Mr Laidlaw, the big six energy suppliers are in talks with the government about the economics of offshore farms.

"If we have a long hiatus [because of the credit crunch] of more than a year, then it's going to be a bigger challenge to meet our renewable targets to ensure we have security of electricity supply. We have to find some solutions in the next few months," he stated.

Mr Laidlaw added that he fears if investment is not boosted the cycle of high energy prices will repeat.

Last week, it was reported that the European Commission is considering investing 40 million euros (£36 million) in a proposed offshore windfarm proposed by the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group and Swedish utility company Vattenfall.

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