Britain’s economic downturn has delayed construction of at least three new power plants because of weaker energy demand, according to utilities.

Scottish and Southern Energy said it had put off building an 870MW gas-fired power plant in Wales because of a drop in demand, while E.ON UK has put off its 1,200MW Drakelow D gas plant, which had been due to open in 2013, until it sees a sustained recovery in demand.

European energy demand showed some signs of recovery in early 2010 after falling by about 7% during the economic crisis when industrial demand for gas and electricity shrank, reports Reuters.

Analysts fear delays to new energy projects because of the current economic problems, which could lead to supply shortages later, particularly as Britain needs to replace many of its ageing plants.