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United Kingdom

UK energy minister Hayes reiterates anti-onshore stance

UK: Junior energy minister John Hayes has again called for an end to onshore wind, in direct defiance of energy minister Ed Davey and government policy.

UK energy minister John Hayes
UK energy minister John Hayes

Speaking on Channel 4 News last night, Hayes said that UK did not need to plan any more onshore wind farms as the UK would reach its renewable energy targets with those that are already in the permitting system.

Two weeks ago, Hayes made similar comments to national newspapers, which he had also planned to include in a speech to thousands of industry representatives at trade body Renewable UK’s annual conference.

Davey forced him to change his speech and the Department of Energy and Climate Change issued a press release saying that there were no targets or caps for onshore wind.

Onshore wind has become a political hot potato in the run up to publication of the energy bill, due later this month. The legislation aims to overhaul the electricity market and spell out details of a new support mechanism for renewable energy.

Renewable UK urged prime minister David Cameron to get a firmer grip on energy policy and send a firm message to investors that the government is committed to the stability of the energy sector.

Deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: "This is a deliberate attempt to recklessly re-write coalition policy just before the most significant government intervention in the energy markets for a generation."

DECC did not respond to a request for comment.

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