The government needs to come clean about the full extent of Britain's energy needs over the coming years, according to the chief executive of power company E.ON UK.
Paul Golby said ministers should be honest about how much will need to be spent on new generating capacity to meet energy demand and prevent the lights from going out.
He accused the government of understating the seriousness of the challenge and downplaying the impact it will have on domestic energy prices.
"The reality of the problems facing us is undeniable - an unparalleled transformation of our energy generation infrastructure at a time when prices are high and rising," the Telegraph quotes.
The newspaper said Mr Golby called for an "honest debate" about Britain's energy future, insisting that all types of generating technologies will need to be considered, with coal-fired power stations playing a significant role.
Meanwhile eleven sites around the UK coastline have been named as possible locations to build new offshore windfarms as the country looks to generate 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
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