License: All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

John Hayes: Policy, Fact and Fiction

Damian Kahya
Damian Kahya is the Energydesk editor and former foreign, business and energy reporter for the BBC. You can following him on Twitter @damiankahya
License: All rights reserved. Credit: Steve Morgan / Greenpeace

So it's clear then.

The government opposes more onshore wind. "Enough is enough," says the energy minister in The Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Only it wasn't what he said in his speech - quoted word for word in today's Guardian. 

So, what is fact, what is policy and what is just John Hayes' personal view - albeit curiously expressed from a ministerial chair.

The specific claims

1) Mr Hayes is understood to believe there should be a moratorium on new onshore windfarms and was quoted as saying "enough is enough".

It's worth noting that whilst the minister did clearly say "enough is enough" so someone he wasn't quoted calling for a moratorium - the logical next step. So that looks like an off the record briefing.

DECC have said there is no change government policy. Indeed the idea of a moratorium appeared completely new to almost everyone we spoke to.

Indeed Sunday Times reported over the weekend that a letter from Mr Hayes to a Lincolnshire councillor suggested onshore wind build would continue in line with DECC's projections.

2) “We have issued a call for evidence on wind. That is about cost but also about community buy-in."

This is true.

DECC have issued a call for evidence, but, as the department clarified this morning, that call for evidence is about ensuring communities benefit from wind developments and about the long term cost of onshore wind. 

For example, DECC press release suggests it will look at "How wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities e.g. by providing grants for playgrounds."

"The Government will also seek the latest information on the cost of onshore wind to confirm whether subsidies from April 2014 have been set at the correct level," the release adds.

3) “I have asked the planning minister to look again at the relationship between these turbines and the landscape."

This appears the clearest divergence from government policy. DECC told Energydesk that they knew of no such review by DECC or anyone else, in a statement released earlier today DECC said:

“There are no targets - or caps - for individual renewable technologies such as onshore wind.  Nor are there reviews being done of onshore wind on the basis of landscape or property values."

4) Almost 4,000 wind turbines are to be built across britain in the coming years (Telegraph), 3,800 turbines are in operation (Mail)

John Hayes' comments were reported in the context of a apparent flood of new wind turbines set to be constructed in order to meet the government's renewables targets, which - both papers reported - requires 13GW of onshore wind.

The source for that number is the government's renewables roadmap which outlines 13GW from onshore wind as it's 'central scenario', so, it's a scenario - not a target.

However it's hard to source either papers' figures. DECC told Energydesk

"Turbine numbers are currently 3300 onshore.  Deployment numbers are 5GW installed and operating, 2,300 under construction, 4,300 awaiting construction and 6,700 in the planning system." - SEE UPDATE BELOW.

The department claimed onshore wind operated at about a 25% load factor, generating 10.4Twh of electricity, a 45% increase on the previous year.

It's worth noting that many of those turbines awaiting construction may not be built due to recent changes in the onshore wind subsidies regime

Much of what is currently in the planning system will also not be consented, under current rules.

It's not clear whether John Hayes is proposing changing those rules in order to block any further consents - but it is clear that this is not government policy.

5) The energy minister indicated that only a minority of the thousands of wind turbines currently put forward for planning permission are likely to be given the go-ahead. He said that this would be enough to fulfil green targets set by the Government. (Telegraph).

As noted above, it doesn't require a change in government policy to limit the number of turbines that get through planning. Energydesk hasn't yet been able to verify the exact proportions of applications that get through - so any comments on this welcome.

The government's targets - as they've said - are not specific to any one renewable technology. They are even considering meeting them by importing 'renewable credits' from other countries. 

However the figures from DECC suggest that there are enough turbines currently consented and in planning to meet onshore wind's share of the 2020 targets, as envisaged in the Renewable Energy Roadmap central scenario.

However, some, such as Tim Yeo are arguing for a larger slice of the 2020 target cake to come from onshore wind and for that reason DECC are refusing to put a limit on onshore wind build.

The argument over wind

That's probably because onshore wind is the cheapest form of clean energy currently available. The rising gas price and falling cost of onshore wind mean, according to DECC, that the cost difference between the two has halved in four years.

The department also released figures suggesting that in 2011 onshore wind added a total of £6 to the cost of the average bill, supported 8,600 jobs and was worth £548 to the UK economy. We're trying to source this data but in the meantime you can see our breakdown of the average bill and assessment of future costs


We've had an update from DECC on the turbine numbers - this time put in GW rather than number of turbine terms. It's likely the previous numbers were calculations from these.

"Turbine numbers are currently 3,300 onshore.  Deployment numbers are 5GW installed and operating, 2.3GW under construction, 4.3GW awaiting construction and 6.7GW in the planning system. Under central scenario in Renewable Roadmap we forecast 13 GW of onshore wind by 2020."
This is important because many newer onshore wind turbines are more powerful than older ones - around 2.5MW according to Renewables UK - compared to 1MW. 

If you assume, as DECC originally did, that each turbine generates 1MW of power at full pelt than 4.3MW awaiting construction is 4,300 turbines. If you assume its 2.5MW than that's 1720 - far fewer than claimed by the Telegraph. The actual number is probably somewhere in between.


Comments Add new comment

I think you are getting your GWs and MWs in a muddle in the Update. I know what you mean though

Even if Mid Wales communities were happy to trade playgrounds for unspoiled countryside the downline communities blighted by 160ft power lines are offered nothing. If the costs of reduced property values were factored in then the claim that on shore wind was low cost would not be made.

If the cost of reduced property values due to climate change were factored in then the claim that gas is in any way comparable to any renewable would not be made.

Penyakit Batu Ginjal Disembuhkan Dengan amazon Alami Batu Ginjal adalah berbentuk benda padat menyerupai batu yang terletak di sepanjang saluran kemih dan bisa menyebabkan penyumbatan. obat herbal penyakit batu ginjal Obat Alami Ginjal Bocor amazon Menyehatkan Ginjal Bocor Penyakit ginjal bocor banyak ditemui pada anak yang menderita kelainan pada fungsi ginjal.obat ginjal bocor tradisional

great post. I simply unearthed your site and needed to say that I have truly
appreciated perusing your blog entries. Any way I'll be subscribing to your
food and I trust you post again soon.                

Salem Shuttle Service

I like your post.
It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important
subject can be easily observed. more info view site 

golf shot analysis

Always so
interesting to visit your site.What a great info, thank you for sharing. this
will help me so much in my learning...

Smartphone Apps

First You got a
great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really
very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks.

how to get more likes quick

Hi there, I found
your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your
post looks very interesting for me.

local singles

Trying to say much
obliged won't simply be sufficient, for the fantasti c clarity in your
written work. I will right away snatch your rss channel to stay educated of
any upgrades. 

Nigeria Forex broker

I have recently
started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly.
Thanks  for all of your time & work.  

the flash streaming ita

I cherish the
online journal. Extraordinary post. It is genuine, individuals must figure
out how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds entertaining
however it genuine. . . 


I like your post.
It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important
subject can be easily observed. more info view site 


This article gives
the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and
gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.

organic vending

I read this
article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate
your work.


Hi there, I found
your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your
post looks very interesting for me.

Insider John

Hmm… I read blogs
on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites
and i’ll be your constant reader.

tax advice

Really great post,
Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all
bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a
much better place. Please keep it up!

cheap nike air max 1

Effortlessly, the
article is really the best point on this registry related issue. I fit in
with your decisions and will energetically anticipate your next


Thanks for writing
such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like
your style of writing...

write me an essay

Awesome material!
Thanks a lot, dude, for giving this so good material to us. I've just
recently completed one of my projects due to the information from this post.
Thanks man, once again!


I like your post.
It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important
subject can be easily observed. 

szybka pożyczka

I would also
motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite
assistance to assist posted the appearance.

Christmas Profits

It was great to see
the old printshop and everyone who works there again. I am excited to see a
printing business still operating and growing, great job guys

Knowledge graph

I also
benefit from learning the assessments, but learn that alot of people ought to
stay on essay to try and add worth in the direction of the authentic weblog

Facebook marketing

I agree with your
blog and i will be back to check it more in the future so please keep up your
work. michael kors outleti love your content & the way that you write.


The internet is
bogged down with bogus blogs with no real message but the post was fantastic
and well worth the read.Thank you for sharing this with me.

Colonial Golf and Country Club

You have made an
extraordinary showing. I will most likely burrow it and generally suggest to
my companions. I am sure they will be profited from this site. 


http://1obatherbalgagalginjal.com/  Ace Maxs merupakan obat herbal terbaru yang terbuat dari bahan alami berkualitas tinggi yaitu perpaduan ekstrak kulit manggis dan daun sirsak tanpa ada campuran bahan kimia apapun di dalamnya. Sehingga aman dikonsumsi tubuh baik oleh anak-anak [minimal 5 tahun], remaja, dewasa bahkan lanjut usia serta bebas efek samping negatif apapun. Perlu anda ketahui bahwa obat herbal Ace Maxs sudah mendapat IZIN RESMI BPOM TR. 142 680 331 dan merupakan Produk Halal yang sudah terdaftar di DEPKES RI P-IRT No. 113317401444-17 jadi tidak ada lagi alasan anda untuk meragukan mutu dan kualitasnya. Silahkan pesan via sms atau bbm BARANG SAMPAI BARU BAYAR.

I definitely
enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want
to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great
contents. Keep up the good work.


Easily, the
doctrine is indeed the prime outcome on this registry kin issue. I spasm in
beside your ends moreover determination eagerly leer along to your following
renews. Right axiom acknowledges endow negative unbiased be adequate, for the
fantastic lucidity in your penmanship. I testament immediately capture your
rss supply to restrain wise of some refurbishes.source

This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck.

american home sheild

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

american home sheild

Thank you.know more

Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome articl. CD Player

Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome articl  Hack Facebook No Survey

I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share..click here to investigate

Good post. I learn some thing tougher on
distinct blogs everyday. Most commonly it really is stimulating to learn
to read content material from other writers and exercise a specific
thing there.limousine service macon

Thank you very much for this informative
post.I really enjoyed the article.I hope that other readers will also
experience how I feel after reading your article. 
gold ira rollovers

Thank you very much for this informative
post.I really enjoyed the article.I hope that other readers will also
experience how I feel after reading your article.  navigate here

Awesome article thank you!

Awesome article thank you!

I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. <a href="http://www.beatcreatorproduction.com">make your own dubstep</a>

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.