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« Climategate revisited | Main | Hiding the Decline »

Davey snaps back

Ed Davey has apparently snapped back at John Hayes' comments about wind farms:

A source said the minister had planned to make the remarks in a speech on Tuesday night but was instructed to remove them by Davey if he wanted to deliver a speech.

The source warned: "What he planned to say was not government policy; will not be government policy. It might be what the Tory party would like to be energy policy, but it is not. He is not in charge of renewable policies on his own, he has to follow the coalition agreement which is in favour of renewable energy, and meeting our legal EU targets for 2020.

"He has been very silly to give interviews to the Telegraph and the Mail on a speech he was not allowed to deliver.

The statement then continued:

"The only way we are going to meet our targets is if we include renewable energy which is ultimately a cheap form of energy, and in parts of Wales and Scotland is popular."

thus proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the "source" is on drugs.

It's hard to tell what this all means, but I imagine that wind energy investors are having something of a squeaky bum day.

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Reader Comments (23)

Mr Davey spoke out after as wind farm developers anxiously called on him to clear up the mixed messages.

There we go, the subsidy junkies are worried their fix is disappearing.

Oct 31, 2012 at 11:51 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

It's not worth getting too excited about this. Even if the government directly instructed that there should be no more planning consents given to onshore wind developers, there would still be consents for 9.8GW of on/s wind farm capacity, vs an already built 4.2GW of capacity (figures for June 2012). In other words, we could see twice as many windfarms as exist already being built over the next few years.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

How does Davey define 'ultimately'? And are those in Wales and Scotland who are fans of windfarms also (coincidentally, of course) recipients of the subsidies? - I think we should be told.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

It has just been raised at PMQ's, current commitments are backed by the government which will meet the 2020 target but there needs to be a debate in the house for post 2020 - call me Dave

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

The only wat to stop the developments would be by a massive cut in the FIT and RO subsidies, something that will take a long time to happen, if ever.

In response to Ben, it's not just wind farms that are the problem, it's now the huge number of individual wind turbines that are in operation, being built, are approved or are in the planning system.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"The only way we are going to meet our targets is if we include renewable energy which is ultimately a cheap form of energy, and in parts of Wales and Scotland is popular."

Wind energy is massively unpopular in Wales except with those politicians who like to imagine that they are "saving the Planet" and the usual gang of suspects, e.g. Friends of the Earth (or "Enemies of Civilisation" as they ought to be called) and some landowners who stand to profit by allowing pylons to be erected on their land.

It is understandable that small farmers who have plenty of financial worries should give serious consideration to what seems like a potential life line for them, but Ed Davey is being exactly as honest as you would expect a politician to be when he tries to give the impression that wind energy is popular in Wales.

Protesters call for halt to wind turbine plans in Wales to assess full impact. Daily Post, October 18 2012

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

It may be that reports of the death of wind farms have been exaggerated.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

"He has been very silly to give interviews to the Telegraph and the Mail on a speech he was not allowed to deliver."

Another Pythons fan, then. I think we can deduce that Hayes has been threatened with the Spanish Inquisition.

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterLuther Bl't

From the Guardian
'The PM is said to have instructed Hayes to put the brakes on onshore windfarms when he appointed him to the Department of Energy & climate Change'.
Is 'Dave' in charge or not, or when 'Greenpeace Sam' calls him to order does he just want to be able to say - "Not me, Guv !".

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Cleggy was interviewed on some news channel yesterday complaining about Hammond "jumping the gun" by authorising £350M of design work to be done on new nuclear missile subs. One of the main reasons was that the Lib Dems are still preparing a report into a more "affordable" deterrent.
It appears that affordability is hugely important in defence decisions but totally irelevant in energy decisions?
If anyone in the UK did not previously understand that the Lib Dems were unelectable, hopefully the penny will soon drop.

Oct 31, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Regarding the "source's" claim about the popularity of wind farms in Wales, I refer to my posts on the Hayes thread.

Having noted that a recent YouGov survey found that 55% of respondents wanted more wind farms (only 21% wanted less), I suggested that nonetheless an anti wind farm stance might be good politics. I referred to 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.

Wind farms are unlikely to move many votes - except in threatened constituencies. In this case, the swing was 9.5 per cent from LibDem to Tory (the largest in Wales).

PS: Moreover I see commentator on the Guardian story said:

... John Hayes might have a point. Why do we need onshore wind imposed on local communities? On Anglesey the local population is on the verge of revolt because Cardiff has decided that the island should be covered in huge windmills with zero consultation.
Perhaps the source should inform the Secretary of State.

Oct 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

I think this exercise is called: "Running something up the flagpole and seeing who salutes".

The fact that this projected move of slowing down or cancelling the growth of wind farms is being met with either apathy or applause from most and that the howls come only from the usual suspects of those either with a direct financial or ideological interest will have been noted.

The writing is on the wall for wind is just a question of how quickly its demise can be politically engineered with the minimum loss of votes.

I fervently hope so, anyway!

Oct 31, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Dear Mr Davey,

Do you not agree that we must start to plan beyond the wonderfully majestic wind turbines with which your enlightened leadership is enhancing the countryside? Please reflect upon the fact that sailing ships run off energy provided to us by Gaia completely free of charge. This country once led the world in wooden sailing ship technology and we can do so again! Yes, we can! Just think of all the healthy open air green jobs – plying the ocean waves! And what’s more, wood is totally biodegradable!

By building as many of these ships now as we had years ago we could, for example, import from Australia all the coal, manufactures, meat, ore, wheat and wool we need for no energy cost at all! With a very modest investment consideration, astutely contributed by your esteemed department, my company would be honoured to provide you with any number of Free-as-the-wind™ purpose-built vessels. Together we can make sure that Britain regains her rightful place as the envy of the world.

Oct 31, 2012 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Well

"...and in parts of Wales and Scotland is popular."

I couldn't suppress a chuckle when I read that bit. Damned with faint praise.

A bit like saying Oliver Cromwell is popular in parts of the Republic of Ireland: Generally more popular where there are less people.

Oct 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"Cheap" when given a massive subsidy.

But who pays for this "bung" to rich, tax-avoiders?

The PAYE taxpayer who cannot avoid it.

Oct 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

"Another Pythons fan, then. I think we can deduce that Hayes has been threatened with the Spanish Inquisition."

Oct 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Luther Bl't

I bet he didn't expect that then...I mean no one expects the......

Oct 31, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

Just had the shadow to Davey, Caroline Flint bleating on about wind farms being the lowest cost power generation facility and saving imported gas.

Dare I tell her that she's completely wrong or have she and Davey constructed a parallel universe where engineering facts are lost in the coils of EU fascist wind rhetoric?

In the UK more windmills save no gas and onshore = double, offshore = triple the power cost because that's the way the ROCs work.

Oct 31, 2012 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

"...and in parts of Wales and Scotland is popular."

I've come across some strange arguments in my time, but that's right up there.

Oct 31, 2012 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

"....renewable energy which is ultimately a cheap form of energy, and in parts of Wales and Scotland is popular."

I'll lay a pound to a pinch of snuff that the only people who it's popular with are those with their snouts in the subsidy trough.............and a few eco loons!

Oct 31, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

@ Don Keiller - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

" "Cheap" when given a massive subsidy. But who pays for this "bung" to rich, tax-avoiders? The PAYE taxpayer who cannot avoid it."

Rather - it is every man, woman & child in this country, via significantly-inflated electricity bills for both their own direct use, and, the power used in all the goods & services they receive.

Oct 31, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

EU targets:
greenhouse gas emissions 20% (or even 30%, if the conditions are right) lower than 1990
20% of energy from renewables
20% increase in energy efficiency

While these figures seem plausible, one must remeber that they were pulled whole cloth out of a hat. Having no basis on anything.

Oct 31, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

The main place in Wales that windfarms are popular is the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay. Here in mid-Wales (Montgomeryshire) the only supporters are "green" incomers from towns/cities in England (an example of whom is Geo Moonbat of the Guardian).

Nov 1, 2012 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterEugene S Conlin

Someone PLEASE shake Ed Davey warmly by the throat and explain to him in words of one syllable, so that he can understand:
Wind was given the boot two hundred years ago. Its the technology of the past.

Nov 2, 2012 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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