Minister attacks wind farms

The Tory energy minister has condemned the "peppering" of wind farms across the countryside, insisting: "Enough is enough." John Hayes said the spread of turbines "seems extraordinary" and they should no longer be "imposed on communities".

Live updates

Ed Davey: No change to Govt policy on renewable energy

The Energy Secretary Ed Davey has released this statement following John Hayes' comments about onshore wind energy:

There has been no change to Government policy on renewable energy, as collectively agreed by the Coalition Cabinet ...

There are no targets - or caps - for individual renewable technologies such as onshore wind. Nor are there reviews being done of onshore wind on the basis of landscape or property values.

What we’re currently consulting on are ways of making sure local communities feel the benefit of hosting wind farms, and whether our understanding of future costs is accurate.

Onshore wind is one of the cheapest renewables, which is why we’ve been able to cut the subsidy. It has an important role to play in our energy future.

– ed davey, energy secretary

Report: Ed Davey 'vetoed' lines from a speech by John Hayes

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The website quotes a Lib Dem source as saying: “This may be the speech that John Hayes and the Tory Tea Party wanted but it wasn't even delivered because he was told not to.”

Mr Davey allegedly vetoed key lines from Mr Hayes’ speech after seeing its first draft.


Renewables industry body seeks 'clarity' over coalition policy

The deputy chief executive of RenewableUK - a trade association for the renewables industry - has said he is "disappointed" by Mr Hayes' comments.

Maf Smith told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that his comments do not sit comfortably with what he said at a renewables conference last night.

At our conference he was talking about the importance of renewables in the mix, the importance of wind, the importance of jobs and securing benefits for renewables.

What we would like is clarity about those views. We understand some of those things that have been said in print this morning are not Government policy.

– Maf Smith, chief executive, RenewableUK

Onshore wind energy in the UK

  • More than 340 onshore wind projects - or 3,327 wind turbines - currently in the UK
  • Current capacity generates 5,028 MW - enough to power about 3.76m homes
  • 4,000 onshore wind turbines due to be built by 2020
  • Target to produce 30% of all UK electricity from renewable sources by 2020
  • UK's first wind farm built in Cornwall in 1991

(Sources: RenewableUK, DECC)

Report: Lib Dem source calls John Hayes' actions 'very silly'

The Guardian's political editor has quoted a source in Liberal Democrat party as saying that John Hayes' comments on wind turbines are not coalition policy:

Labour's parliamentary candidate for Lincoln, Lucy Rigby, appeared to back up the story, branding the episode "energy shambles".


Greenpeace slams 'petulant' wind farm attack

John Hayes’ petulant outburst adds to the Coalition’s growing energy shambles and to a deepening divide within Government between those who care about green growth and the economy and those who just want more oil and gas.

Here is a new minister veering off brief and publicly contradicting his bosses. His comments threaten jobs and his approach will drive up energy bills.

Cameron needs to take charge, decide which side he’s on and reassure industry and investors that John Hayes won't go over their heads and make policy over the phone to the Daily Mail.

– Leila Deen, Greenpeace Energy Campaigner

Davey 'tried to limit minster's powers' over wind farm concerns

John Hayes' bold talk will delight scores of Conservative MPs who have been urging David Cameron to block further expansion of onshore wind farms, but infuriate Liberal Democrats.

Energy Minister John Hayes earlier this month Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Energy Secretary Ed Davey was reportedly so concerned about his new deputy's views on the issue that he acted to limit his responsibilities.

'Protecting our green and pleasant land'

Quoted in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, Mr Hayes said:

We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can't single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.

We have issued a call for evidence on wind. That is about cost but also about community buy-in.

We need to understand communities' genuine desires. We will form our policy in the future on the basis of that, not on a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective.

If you look at what has been built, what has consent and what is in the planning system, much of it will not get through and will be rejected. Even if a minority of what's in the system is built, we are going to reach our 2020 target. I'm saying enough is enough.

Load more updates Back to top