Stopping the lights going out in the UK will take £200bn of new investment in the energy sector, the power regulator Ofgem has calculated.
This could lead to rises in energy bills of 60 per cent for consumers.
The investment will be needed to increase the amount of energy coming from renewable sources, in line with government targets, and to ensure the security of the UK’s electricity supply.
However, the sums involved, according to Ofgem, are much larger than those the government has estimated in the past.
As well as keeping the lights on and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the investment is supposed to carry other benefits such as creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs.
Or, given the poor record on attracting green jobs to the UK in recent months, it could result in
a bonanza for the Chinese companies who are churning out renewable energy components.