Dismay at Hayes anti-wind comments

Industry body RenewableUK is calling for ‘urgent clarification’ following press reports in which new energy minister John Hayes heavily criticises onshore wind.

Having addressed RenewableUK’s annual conference in Glasgow yesterday in praise of renewables, Hayes later spoke to newspaper reporters telling them that ‘enough was enough’ and that the UK has too many wind turbines.

These apparently contradictory remarks have invoked a strong reponse from both RenewableUK and the Renewable Energy Association which have been left bemused by the minister’s departure from government energy policy. 

RenewableUK deputy chief executive, Maf Smith, said: “As the wind industry meets in Glasgow to celebrate the success of this industry, it comes as some surprise that the new minister has said one thing to us and another to the press. We are on the eve of the publication of the Energy Bill, a crucial time for energy policy, with huge investment decisions to be made that will lead to tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade. If we are to see these jobs and investment realised confidence must be retained and that means consistency.”

REA chief executive, Gaynor Hartnell. added: “This situation illustrates the need for top level leadership. Ministers’ public disagreements on renewable energy policy are damaging to investor confidence. The public would be best served by a cross-party consensus on investment in energy infrastructure. The Coalition really needs to put the national interest ahead of party-politics given the gravity of our energy challenge.”