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« Hiding the Decline | Main | Turbine Travails - Josh 187 »

***Did Hayes just kill the wind industry?***

Energy Minister John Hayes may just have killed the wind industry:

John Hayes said that we can “no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities” and added that it “seems extraordinary” they have allowed to spread so much throughout the country.

The energy minister said he had ordered a new analysis of the case for onshore wind power which would form the basis of future government policy, rather than “a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective”. The comments sparked speculation that Conservative ministers are planning to drop their support for wind farms — a move which would trigger a major Coalition rift.

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Reader Comments (44)

Could this have anything to do with Pat Swords’ researches?

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Well

Or "Has Hayes just killed the wind industry?" as we'd say in British English.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Best comment on the Tele article:

"The only way wind farms make sense as a reliable energy source is if you build huge nuclear-powered fans to blow them."

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

hayes is a lib, His use of of words cannot be confned to mere syntax....he means you want to mourn for Gaia...but that you realise that his government wants to fill its boots before it flees to Paraguay

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

A shrewd political move methinks. The Tories have plenty of ammunition to draw on and a growing public antipathy to wind power that'll put clear true-blue water between them and their opposition.
Labour and Liberals will fume, scream green-murder and scrabble for a dwindling share of the vote but, secretly the latter will breath a sigh of relief as they move out of power and back into more comfortable political backwater.
Don't think UKIP will be too happy at the Conservatives stealing their thunder but that's life.
We certainly live in interesting times!

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

This is not a surprise. The single reason for the media support for AGW is the almost criminal rise in fossil fuel prices. Renewables have fundamentally served their purpose. When Rupert Murdoch appoints a new Labour leader, then we will have more silly wind turbines.

As for “a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective”. Academics are the best wage slaves money can buy and the Guardian only supported AGW because it was massively sponsored by Shell. The woman responsible for setting up the AGW campaign, Carolyn McCall is now saving the planet as Chairman of Easyjet.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:42 AM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Woooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooooooooo

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:15 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Here is an article about the so called bourgeois left by my favourite AGW commentator.

Climategate: George Monbiot, the Guardian and Big Oil

But who is it that sponsors the Guardian?s Environment pages and eco conferences? Why, only that famous non-fossil-fuel company Shell. (Though I notice their logo no longer appears on top of the Guardian?s eco pages: has the Guardian decided the relationship was just too embarrassing to be, er, sustainable?)

And which company has one of the largest carbon trading desks in London, cashing in on industry currently worth around $120 billion ? an industry which could not possibly exist without pan-global governmental CO2 emissions laws ? BP (which stands for British Petroleum)

And how much has Indian steel king Lakshmi Mittal made from carbon credits thanks to Europe?s Emissions Trading Scheme? £1 billion.

And which companies were the CRU scientists revealed cosying up to as early as 2000 in the Climategate emails? There?s a clue in this line here: ?Had a very good meeting with Shell yesterday.?

And how much was Phil Jones, director of the discredited CRU, found to have collected in grants since 1990? £13.7 million ($22.7 million)

And why does this Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild?s bank sound so enthusiastic in this (frankly terrifying) letter about the prospects of the ?new world order? (his phrase not mine) which result from globally regulated carbon trading?

Or why not try this blog, in which a German Green party MP is revealed being given hefty donations by a solar power company?

Or how about this tiny $70 million donation to the climate change industry from the Rockefeller Foundation?

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have issued the latest quarterly statistics for electricity generation. The key points are :-

In 2012 Q2, total electricity generated fell 0.5 per cent from 84.9 TWh in 2011 Q2 to 84.4 TWh, the lowest level for this quarter since 1998.
Coal fired generation *rose* by 59.9 per cent from 19.1 TWh to 30.5 TWh, its highest second quarter level for at least 14 years.
Gas fired generation fell 32.1 per cent from 37.1 TWh to 25.2 TWh, its lowest level for at least 14 years. This was due to high gas prices, with several gas stations being run at minimal or zero levels as a result.
Nuclear generation fell 3.3 per cent from 19.2 TWh to 18.5 TWh. Wylfa reactor 2 shut on 25 April 2012, leaving Wylfa reactor 1 as the sole Magnox reactor in the UK. (Oldbury fully closed in February 2012).
Wind generation increased from 3.59 TWh to 4.25 TWh, raising its share of total generation from 4.2% to 5.0%
Net imports increased from 1.53TWh to 3.19 TWh to fill the shortfall in production, as demand increased by 1.4%.

(Comparisons are all with Q2 in 2011).

So from this coal is up (as the price of US coal is low) and windmills are proved to be utterly useless at filling the power gap. Who could have guessed these effects of green policies? Germany has managed the same effect now they have no nuclear and lots of windmills.

Oct 31, 2012 at 3:02 AM | Unregistered Commentertckev

Can it be? The first clear, small note of common sense?

Oct 31, 2012 at 4:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon Jermey

DM has picked it up:

30 Oct: Daily Mail: James Chapman: Minister signals end of the wind farm: We can't pepper turbines across the country - enough is enough, declares energy minister
Onshore wind farms give other renewable energy sources a bad name, says Energy Minister John Hayes
Existing and planned sites are enough to meet environmental goals
Research into effects on house prices, noise levels and military radars has been commissioned, Mr Hayes told the Mail exclusively

Oct 31, 2012 at 5:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

31 Oct: UK Telegraph: Christopher Booker: Ten years too late, it’s good riddance to wind farms – one of the most dangerous delusions of our age

Oct 31, 2012 at 5:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

oops...the Booker article is from the Daily Mail.

Oct 31, 2012 at 5:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Well, one and a half cheers.

What legal force this announcement has, is questionable.

But when will John Hayes cancel the subsidy farms permitted but as yet unbuilt?

When will he cancel the offshore subsidy farms?

When will he insist the developers and promoters remove the turbines already constructed and fully restore the subsidy farm sites? At their expense!

When will he launch an inquiry into RuinablesUK and all the others who have foisted this abject nonsense on the British public?

When will Milipede, Cameron & Clegg, Huhne & Davey be impeached?

Oct 31, 2012 at 5:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Meanwhile, the Grauniad continues to push the climate change and green propaganda regardless

Oct 31, 2012 at 6:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

There is some good stuff here:

‘I want to look at a broader analysis of the effects – I mean house price values, and other quality of life issues. I want to look particularly at noise, so I have asked the Institute of Acoustics to look at the noise issue from a completely independent perspective.

‘There is a case where people had to move from their family farm because of noise. It is very often the case that local authorities don’t have the wherewithal to address these planning issues.’

‘It seems extraordinary to have allowed them to be peppered around the country without due regard for the interests of the local community or their wishes.

“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,”

The one thing that is missing is an investigation into how much, if any, the CO2 emissions savings are. The Government has admitted it doesn't know and has never done the analysis to find out. Is there somebody here who lives in Hayes' constituency and can ask him directly?

Oct 31, 2012 at 7:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

what an odd one from the Beeb. they say...da de da. anonymous woman from DECC says...da de da.

31 Oct: BBC: Wind farms could be curbed by government
The government looks set to stop new wind farms after Energy Minister John Hayes was quoted by two newspapers stating that the UK had enough of them.
The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph both carry interviews in which he says "enough is enough" and that the country is "peppered" by the farms.
They say he has now ordered a new analysis of the case for wind farms and their effect on local communities...
Mr Hayes, Conservative MP for South Holland and The Deepings, gave a speech to the Renewables UK event on renewable energy on Tuesday night, which a DECC spokeswoman said was "well received by the renewables industry".
She said that the views quoted by the Mail and Telegraph were not expressed in that speech...

Oct 31, 2012 at 7:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

EXTREMELY short, belated piece:

31 Oct: Independent: Rob Hastings: Energy minister launches attack on windfarms
The expansion of onshore windfarms may have come to an end after a Conservative energy minister launched an outspoken attack on the technology, saying turbines have "peppered" the UK's countryside and that "enough is enough"...
It is unclear how Mr Hayes's remarks will affect Government policy but they are likely to anger senior figures among his Liberal Democrat coalition partners.

Oct 31, 2012 at 7:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Winnett's Tele article, posted by Bish, is dated: 10:25PM GMT 30 Oct 2012

Telegraph: Amy Wilson: Government still aiming to expand onshore wind farms
The UK government remains committed to its goal of almost tripling the amount of power the country gets from onshore wind farms by 2020 was confirmed by John Hayes, the Minister for Energy
10:05AM GMT 30 Oct 2012
The target of increasing the amount of power generated by onshore wind farms to 13 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 from around 5GW now was confirmed by John Hayes, the Minister for Energy, in a letter to a Lincolnshire councillor seen by The Sunday Times.
There are more than 3,000 onshore wind turbines in the UK at present, and the building programme could see another 6,000 erected.
The confirmation of the target to increase onshore wind power to 13GW is a blow to the hopes of anti-wind farm campaigners, who had welcomed the appointment of Mr Hayes to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in September...

Oct 31, 2012 at 7:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat


DECC is full of spokeswomen who will push the DECC propaganda at every opportunity. It shows we are ruled by bureaucrats and politicians have little effect on policy (Sir Humphrey continues to live very well at the tax-payers' expense).

Oct 31, 2012 at 7:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

This is only onshore - no case against offshore. Hayes' constituency adjoins The Wash where major offshore development is planned.

Offshore attracts twice the subsidy.

Oct 31, 2012 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

When the fad for replacing intersections with roundabouts, or traffic circles infested my community, I reconciled myself to it by conceiving that from an aerial view it looked like the place had broken out in a pox. Similarly, the windmills infest, and vibrate and moan dissonantly. Albion's red-peppered? Dynamite the dickens out of the irritant. Gesundheit.

Oct 31, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

John Hayes said that we can “no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities” and added that it “seems extraordinary” they have allowed to spread so much throughout the country.

I was listening to some R4 programme the other day, and they were keen on not "imposing" windmills on communities. The key theme was "we can remove opposition by bribing people to have a windfarm nearby". Another wind subsidy to add to everyone else's bills.

Still, wind is free, and inexhaustible. Electricity will soon be too cheap to meter!

Oct 31, 2012 at 8:41 AM | Unregistered Commentermalcolm

My trust in newspaper articles is severely diminished, lets hear the words spoken before breaking out the champagne. If this is going to drive another wedge between the Conservatives and Liberals I would expect radio and tv to organise an interview.

Oct 31, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Just before we get too complacent, don't forget the vested interests will be fighting this for all its worth.

I have just received an email from RegenSW:-

"Globally, investment in renewable power capacity is now greater than in fossil fuel generation. In 2011, investment in renewables totalled $237bn for renewables versus $223bn for additional fossil fuel generation"

[I can't help wondering how much of this is taxpayers' hard-earned cash. I also wonder whether this just means we have proof now that there is significant under-investment in renewing our power stations and how much of a better place we would be in had the older power stations been replaced with more efficient newer ones. How many power stations does $237bn buy? How would the power output of $237bn in conventional power generation compare with the power output of $237bn in renewables?]

"It's worth repeating this - the giant fossil fuel industry that has so dominated our economy is now being outspent by the fledging renewables sector. The moment that really brought this home to me was watching renewables at the heart of the plot in the revival of Dallas. [Glad to see they think the Dallas revival is real life!!]

"Those figures come from Bloomberg, whose chief editor will be starting us off at Renewable Futures, now just three weeks away on 20 November. Click here to book

The government has kindly timed its announcements on the Electricity Bill and EMR for two weeks before Renewable Futures and I am greatly looking forward to chairing a debate on the impacts of the seismic shifts in the energy market, with thought leaders and pioneers like Charles Hendry, Bernie Bulkin, Jeremy Leggett and Juliet Davenport.

onshore electricity generation update:

Regen SW has been working closely with DECC this month to ensure that members' views are fed into the government's call for evidence on onshore wind. We have also continued to work with local authorities and communities across the region to prepare the ground for renewable energy schemes.

Wind Developers Forum
We held the Wind Developers Forum and networking session on 16 October. The head of independent generation from DECC provided an update on national energy policy and details of the call for evidence for onshore wind on costs and community engagement/benefit. The importance of responding to the call for evidence was stressed. Many of the responses received so far report negative experiences of community engagement. DECC urged those who have had positive experiences to respond and asked developers to report cases of best practice. The need to provide up-to-date evidence on costs was also emphasised, as it will determine whether a formal review of tariffs is required.

Regen will be responding to the call for evidence and Merlin Hyman will be feeding in through the DECC steering group. We urge you to either send us your evidence or respond directly to DECC. For further information click here

Community energy groups
DECC will also be attending our Community Energy Group workshop at the end of October. One group that will be attending is the Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC), which has recently submitted a planning application for a community wind scheme in Totnes. The group is working in partnership with Infinergy and providing a test case for a different way for community groups and developers to work together in the south west.

Wind buffer zone evidence
Regen SW has this month published evidence on the impact of wind turbines and the implications for buffer zone policies. It concludes that standardised residential separation distances are fundamentally in conflict with government policy and do not provide the best approach for addressing the impacts of wind turbines. This report can be found at

Action for Renewables
We are delighted to announce a new partnership between Regen SW and Action for Renewables, which is run by RenewableUK. We will be working closely together to raise the profile of renewable energy and support the industry, local communities and energy activists to drive forward projects. You can find out more about Action for Renewables at

Industry news

Planning finally granted for Batsworthy wind farm

After six years in the planning system RWE nPower Renewables has finally achieved planning consent for the erection of nine 103-metre wind turbines at Batsworthy Cross in Devon. The application went to public inquiry in June 2012 to appeal North Devon Council's decision to refuse planning permission in June 2011.

To read the full story visit

Build starts on 6.2MW solar PV plant in Devon

TGC Renewables has started building a 6.2 MW solar PV plant in south Devon, which will be one of the largest in the UK.

To read the full story visit

Four wind turbines at a Bristol sewage works

Triodos Bank's renewable energy arm has completed a deal to build four wind turbines (8.2 MW) at a Bristol sewage works that should ensure the site produces more energy than it requires.

To read the full story visit

World's first test centre for mega wind turbines

Danish test centre Oesterild is the first site in the world where wind turbines as high as sky scrapers can be tested and further developed under ideal wind conditions. The first turbine to be tested measures 197 meters, and the facility can handle wind turbines up to 250 meters.

To read the full story visit "

It makes you wonder whether the Conservatives are playing a sneaky game; appeasing the bloke on the street on the one hand while negotiating with the renewables industry on the other.

Oct 31, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

Meanwhile, US and China are pouring billions into shale gas development while we Brits are stuck with ginormous fans and solar panels that don't work *sigh* Tulips, anyone?

Oct 31, 2012 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered Commentersosad

MSM is already reporting confirmation from No 10 that the minister's comments are not government policy

Oct 31, 2012 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterRB

This statement is Kite flying, sadly not worth the electrons used to get it to your screens.

Oct 31, 2012 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

Just on Sky News, they are waiting to interview John Hayes who has just returned, Ed Davey has released a statement saying that the comments made are not government policy.

Perhaps we will get to the bottom of this.

Oct 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

"a move which would trigger a major Coalition rift."

What another one

Oct 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Lord B:

Ed Davey has released a statement saying that the comments made are not government policy.

Policy is not law.

Don't you just love these public slanging matches! Hurrah for joined-up Government.

Oct 31, 2012 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Exciting news.

But, Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare to see the full force of the eco-establishment and the Thermageddonists unleashed.

Cameron doesn't stand a chance.

Oct 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

I hope I'm wrong, but I sense a U-turn in the distance. Samantha's dad can't be too happy!

Oct 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Shades of 'The thick of it' here. Davey slaps down junior minister for speaking off message.

It ain't over yet.

Oct 31, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

However, The Guardian notes:
Energy Secretary slaps down minister who called for end to wind farm sprawl
     Ed Davey has banned John Hayes, a new energy minister, from making remarks about the spread of wind farms after he told newspapers, "enough is enough".

Oct 31, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

It's unlikely that Hayes's comment will even succeed in "appeasing the bloke on the street" (see Grumpy's comment above). According to this current YouGov survey (scroll down to page 9), 55% of respondents want more wind farms than at present compared to 21% who want less and 14% who think current levels are enough. Even Tory voters favour wind farms by 49% to 28%.

Oct 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Despite that YouGov poll (see my comment above), an anti wind farm policy may be good politics.

It may not appeal to the bloke in the street - who probably doesn't care all that much anyway. But it can appeal mightily to the bloke in the constituency threatened by a wind farm. See this Andrew Gilligan story. An extract:

... some schemes are creating a backlash against wind energy. In mid-Wales, near Welshpool, 600 wind turbines are proposed, along with a 30-mile pylon line to link them to the grid near Shrewsbury. Massive opposition to the plans led to the Liberal Democrats, who support wind farms, losing the local Welsh Assembly seat at elections last year.

The swing was 9.5 per cent from LibDem to Tory (the largest in Wales). Wind farms are unlikely to move many votes - except in threatened constituencies. And there, votes move from the pro- to the anti-windfarm parties.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

I see that James Delingpole has withdrawn his 'anti-windfarm' candidacy for Corby. Seems a tad hasty...

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Robin Guenier says, "Despite that YouGov poll (see my comment above), an anti wind farm policy may be good politics.
It may not appeal to the bloke in the street - who probably doesn't care all that much anyway. But it can appeal mightily to the bloke in the constituency threatened by a wind farm."

Quite right and it explains why "James Delingpole has withdrawn his 'anti-windfarm' candidacy for Corby" (Oct 31, 2012 at 1:07 PM | jamesp).

They don't have a windfarm problem at the moment so it's a minor issue; no-one votes on minor issues.

James Delingpole was going to lose, even to the Greens, and that would be self-defeating.

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Robin Guenier says, "Despite that YouGov poll (see my comment above), an anti wind farm policy may be good politics.
It may not appeal to the bloke in the street - who probably doesn't care all that much anyway. But it can appeal mightily to the bloke in the constituency threatened by a wind farm."

Quite right and it explains why "James Delingpole has withdrawn his 'anti-windfarm' candidacy for Corby" (Oct 31, 2012 at 1:07 PM | jamesp).

They don't have a windfarm problem at the moment so it's a minor issue; no-one votes on minor issues.

James Delingpole was going to lose, even to the Greens, and that would be self-defeating.

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

re 'Delingpole's withdrawal'.
When you've passed on the baton you should be able to stop running for a bit.
Both the UKIP candidate and the Tory Energy Minister have declared; there's no point in three of them carrying on.
Delingpole can still continue with his anti-windfarm efforts.

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Thanks, guys. I was just wondering what JD would do if Ed Davey starts throwing his weight about and puts it all back the way it was...

Oct 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Just received a second email from RegenSW in response to the little tug of war going on:-

You will have seen the media coverage of Energy Minister John Hayes' negative comments about onshore wind and response from the Secretary of State, Ed Davey, who clarified that there has been no change to Government policy on large scale wind turbines.

It is clear that onshore wind has become a political football in the coalition. It will be fascinating to hear the views of the ex-Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, and those of investors and industry leaders on the implications of this at Renewable Futures on 20 November. You can book your place at the conference here.

Regen has been in contact with the local media and you should see our comments in the Western Morning News tomorrow.

John Hayes referred to the current calls for evidence on large scale wind, which look at both the costs and community engagement and benefit. Further information can be found here. It is imperative that we all engage with this, as it will determine if a formal review of tariffs is required and will inform any guidance or standards for how developers interact with local communities.

Regen has already held two sessions with DECC on the calls for evidence: with developers at our Wind Developers' Forum on 16 October and with communities at our Community Energy Group Network workshop yesterday. I am also sitting on the DECC's Stakeholder Advisory Group, set up to inform the call for evidence.

The uncertainty that this debate within government creates is deeply unhelpful for the industry and investment in the future of energy. However, I am hopeful this will motivate the many pro renewable voices to build a stronger campaign. Regen will play its role in that and I would encourage you all to respond to the call for evidence and to keep providing positive news stories about the projects you are developing and jobs you are creating to your local media, local MP and to Regen (for us to use).

I look forward to seeing you at Renewable Futures.

Oct 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

Sorry - one junior minister 'calls it as it is' and we think that the snouts will be pulled out of the trough?

Let's get real here - this is a multi hundred billion pound trough and if you believe that the pigs will simply move over ... well ... you are as deluded as the 'man controls the weather' brigade.

Oct 31, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

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