Wind sector shudders as Hayes takes over as UK energy minister

There has been unease amongst renewable sector representatives in the UK after Charles Hendry was replaced by John Hayes as energy minister in a government reshuffle.

Mr Hayes was quoted by the BBC in 2009 as saying "renewable energy needs to pass the twin tests of environmental and economic sustainability and wind power fails on both counts".

Minister for Energy John Hayes

The Guardian reports that Hayes’ appointment will be of particular concern to the wind energy sector as he has vented his opposition in the past against wind farms in his constituency, describing turbines as a "terrible intrusion on our flat fenland landscape".

Mr Hayes is on record as saying that wind turbines are unreliable, drive up energy bills and divert resources from other forms of renewable energy.

Green business will hope that his mindset has changed in the interim but Jennifer Webber from trade body RenewableUK wrote on Twitter that the news was a major shock, adding that "now's not the time to get rid of someone with such a superb understanding of energy policy".

Adam Bell, Low Carbon Energy Policy Advisor for the think tank Green Alliance, said he was “baffled” by the loss of Hendry from DECC, adding he was a minister with a “real grounding in his subject, and a clear will to deliver.”

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