Businesses 'face power shortages'

BUSINESSES and homes across the UK could face power shortages in the years ahead, energy regulator Ofgem has warned.

The regulator also warns that a proportion of consumers may not be able to afford the higher energy prices they will have to face.

Ofgem says there is "reasonable doubt" about whether the UK’s energy market will be able to deliver sustainable supplies in the coming decade.

The industry requires £200bn of investment, according to the regulator.

Chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: "Faced with the unprecedented challenge of carbon prices, the unprecedented challenge of the credit crunch and the unprecedented challenge of maintaining international supplies, we're looking at new solutions to protect security of supply."

He said that as a result of the difficulties of supply energy bills could rise by up between 14 and 25 per cent by 2020.

Ofgem is calling for energy company's increase gas capacity and storage.

Earlier this week price comparison site said that energy bills had doubled since 2003.