Charles Hendry was replaced yesterday by fellow Conservative MP John Hayes as energy minister in prime minister David Cameron’s reshuffle.
Hendry was a popular minister and had a key role in preparing the Department for Energy and Climage Change’s (Decc) energy market reform bill due for its second reading in the Autumn.
“His vast knowledge and experience has delivered a balanced and incredibly valuable approach,” said trade body Energy Networks Association chief executive David Smith. “He leaves very big shoes to fill and will be missed.”
His replacement John Hayes has held shadow ministerial roles in agriculture, local government and transport. He has previously opposed wind turbines in his consitency of South Holland and The Deeping.
Trady body Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell has urged Hayes to closely look at the economics of renewable energy:
“Given John Hayes’ reported stance on energy subsidies, he might want to take a good hard look at energy policy in the round. We would be happy to meet with him to discuss the latest information on falling costs of renewables and increasing costs of other energy forms. We are about to embark on electricity market reform, which will see just about every form of power generation subsidised.
“Under pressure from Treasury to scrutinise the cost of renewables policies, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is becoming increasingly interventionist. More and more DECC is attempting to dictate how much of each technology should be deployed. This should be left to the market, and the cheapest technologies should be encouraged to make the maximum contribution. Instead we have increasing complexity, and investors becoming more wary.”