Whenever there's a rise in energy prices media pieces are usually accompanied by grumbles from businessmen (and it's usually men moaning) about how the higher costs are making business harder than ever. Increased costs are always a challenge for businesses… any organisation in fact. But it really shouldn't be any surprise that energy prices are rising. It's been a matter of policy for years that fuel tax will increase ever year (Brown merely delayed the increase last year). It's also clear that with declining oil and gas supplies yet increased demand those prices are also set to rise, further augmented by carbon trading schemes.
These are not sudden occurrences. They have been in popular knowledge for years. Part of business is scenario planning to prepare for what the future is likely to bring. It seems to me that there's huge competitive advantage to be had from shifting your business away from the volatile, increasing costs of carbon-based energy sources to renewable sources. The business that can keep a lid on its costs by switching to renewables is also the one that is going to be able to offer the most competitive prices. Despite what some might argue, a greener economy is filled with opportunities, not gloom.