Demand for electricity produced from renewables such as wind power is expected to surge this year with UK businesses planning to buy some 34 TWh of 'green' electricity in 2007, according to a Datamonitor survey of 3,500 of the UK's largest energy buyers, published on 29 March.
"UK businesses are increasingly focused on sourcing premium renewable electricity," the survey found, with 28% of companies now having a goal for green electricity consumption in 2007 - up 7% on 2006.
However, production in 2006 only reached 12 TWh, leaving a potential gap of 22 TWh for 2007, the survey found.
"Internal company targets will be very difficult to meet," analysts at Datamonitor said. "Ultimately, increasing demand for green energy is not being met by new capacity."
European objectives on renewable power have pushed the UK to force electricity suppliers to source part of their production from wind, solar or biomass and attest the origin of the power with a 'green certificate'.
But the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme is failing to deliver at the rate the market is demanding, with the UK generating 13.7 TWh of accredited electricity in 2005-06, some 24% short of the scheme’s 18 TWh target.