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UK Onshore Wind Energy Politics Timeline
1988 – 2019
Chris Rose
Campaign Strategy Ltd
chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk
www.cam...
Cameron’s green advance 2005 – 2010 Cameron’s green retreat 2011 - 2016
2005: December 6, Cameron elected
Conservative Lea...
KEY TO SLIDES
Main stages
Policy
developments
Core political
developments
Political
drivers and
indicators
UKIP Vote
GE EP...
2005: December 6, Cameron
elected Conservative Leader. Party
Logo is changed to a green tree.
2006: April 18, Cameron says...
2010: October 6, Cameron
changes green tree logo to
Union Jack at Party
Conference
2012: January 30, Cameron
receives Chri...
2012: February 21, Cameron
defends wind energy plans to
Tory MPs saying subsidies
will be cut 10%
2012: February 27, Camer...
2012: October 1, lobbying company
Together Against Wind is set up by
Chris Heaton Harris and Thomas
Pursglove . Organises ...
2012: November 14, The Spectator reports
that Osborne thinks ‘halting onshore wind’
is a ‘vote winner in marginal rural an...
2014: April 10th, Pickles extends extra
call-in powers on wind farms until
the 2015 election and adds
compulsory community...
2015: April 4, Conservative
Manifesto pledges ‘We will
halt the spread of onshore
wind farms’.
2015: January 12, Fabian So...
2016: June 24, Cameron
resigns as Prime Minister
2016: January 18, Heaton Harris
says he was a ‘greenie’ until he met
Lomb...
2016: October 28, UK 14th (all-time
low) in country attractiveness for
investment in renewables
2017: January 17, 1010 lau...
2017: September 11, Carbon Brief
finds that in latest Contracts for a
Difference, onshore and offshore
wind and solar are ...
2018: January 18, The Independent
reports that investment in
renewables fell 56% in 20172018: February 11, Energy
Minister...
2018: May 11, pro-wind groups say since
Jun 2015 there has been a 92% drop in
new onshore wind capacity and only one
new c...
2018: November 18, Energy
Secretary Greg Clark says the
“energy trilemma” is “coming to an
end”
2018: October 20, accordin...
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Wind politics timelines expanded

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Timeline of political events in which anti-modernizing campaigns by rightwing politicians forced Prime Minister David Cameron to abandon onshore wind energy and adopt a UKIP style climate sceptic energy policy. See blog 'Killing the Wind of England' at http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/

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Wind politics timelines expanded

  1. 1. UK Onshore Wind Energy Politics Timeline 1988 – 2019 Chris Rose Campaign Strategy Ltd chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk www.campaignstrategy.org See also Wind Politics Full Timeline and blog ‘Wind Break’ 1
  2. 2. Cameron’s green advance 2005 – 2010 Cameron’s green retreat 2011 - 2016 2005: December 6, Cameron elected Conservative Leader. Party Logo is changed to a green tree. 2006: April 18, Cameron says “vote blue, go green” at local elections 2006: April 20, Cameron visits Arctic with WWF 2006: September 1, Cameron supports FoE call for a Climate Bill 2007: March 21, Cameron has a wind turbine installed on his house 2010: April 29, Cameron promises ‘greenest government ever’ in Manifesto for General Election 2010: May 14, Cameron repeats ‘greenest government ever’ in coalition government with Liberal Democrats 2010: October 6, Cameron changes green tree logo to Union Jack at Party Conference 2012: January 30, Cameron receives Chris Heaton Harris letter from 101 Conservative MPs against wind energy 2012: February 21, Cameron defends wind energy plans to Tory MPs saying subsidies will be cut 10% 2012: February 27, Cameron meets anti-wind MP delegation with planning and energy Ministers. In ‘listening mode’. 2012: September 4, Cameron reshuffles Cabinet to the right, opening way to expand aviation. 2012: September 15, Cameron reportedly tells Energy Minister John Hayes to “deliver a win for our people” on wind farms 2013: November 21, Cameron reportedly tells aides to “get rid of all the green crap” from energy bills 2014: April 1, Cameron reportedly considers ‘new attack’ on wind farms in 2015 Manifesto 2015: April 4, Conservative Manifesto pledges ‘We will halt the spread of onshore wind farms’. 2016: June 24, Cameron resigns as Prime Minister 2007: August 8, Conservative green tree turns blue 2
  3. 3. KEY TO SLIDES Main stages Policy developments Core political developments Political drivers and indicators UKIP Vote GE EP Slides show only indicative sample of events – see also Condensed and Full wind politics timelines, and Political Actors and Introduction and Values docs 3
  4. 4. 2005: December 6, Cameron elected Conservative Leader. Party Logo is changed to a green tree. 2006: April 18, Cameron says “vote blue, go green” at local elections 2006: April 20, Cameron visits Arctic with WWF 2006: September 1, Cameron supports FoE call for a Climate Bill 2007: March 21, Cameron has a wind turbine installed on his house 2010: April 29, Cameron promises ‘greenest government ever’ in Manifesto for General Election 2010: May 14, Cameron repeats ‘greenest government ever’ in coalition government with Liberal Democrats ‘Detoxification’ 2006: February 4, Norman Tebbit attacks Cameron project from right 2007: August 8, Conservative green tree turns blue Tory right hates coalition. Unstable values alliance with LDs. Conservatives need to attract more younger Prospectors + Pioneers Blair wins elections from the centre, attracts broad values base 2008: Climate Act becomes law commits UK to carbon reduction 2008: 2020 renewables target adopted = 35% of electricity by 2020 Intl, UK and EU climate policies drive renewables Thatcher climate speech 1988 1990: NFFO 1991: 1st wind farm 1996: EU 2.C target 2000: UK 10% renewables by 2010 2004: RSS regional ren’s targets Energy targets Carbon budgets Major govt introduces carbon fuel tax Planning policy Thatcher Bruges speech 1988 Conservatives split, increasingly Eurosceptic. Heaton Harris elected MEP 1999. Meets Lomborg 2001. 2005 Cameron promises to pull out of EPP group in European Parl. 2004-5: Heaton Harris asks for help from US based ALEC 2007 Roger Helmer runs climate sceptic campaigns 2008 Heaton-Harris MEP opposes Northants wind farm 2009 Peter Luff MP introduces wind farm (habitation) Bill May Heaton-Harris MEP elected MP for Daventry 2006 Tory MEPs leave EPP for ECR 2010: May 6, General Election leads to Con _ Lib Dem Coalition govt 0.34% 1.48% 2.2% 3.1% 1% 7% 16% 17% Wind energy in line with climate policy 2005>2010 Positive promotion of wind energy & climate policy as part of Conservative detoxification/ Values pivot 4
  5. 5. 2010: October 6, Cameron changes green tree logo to Union Jack at Party Conference 2012: January 30, Cameron receives Chris Heaton Harris letter from 101 Conservative MPs against wind energy calling for ‘dramatic’ subsidy cut and changes to NPPF so wind farms can be more easily stopped 2010: December 20, govt proposes National Planning Policy Framework NPPF. 2010: May 27, Heaton Harris uses maiden speech to criticize wind farm ‘folly’, proposes no wind farm within 2km of a dwelling 2010: July 6, RSS abolished 2010: November 17, Heaton Harris reintroduces Luff ‘proximity’ Bill 2011 July 25: NPPF is opposed by Countryside campaigners; Daily Telegraph launches campaign 2011: May 23, Heaton Harris objects to NPPF as its ‘presumption for sustainable development’ favours wind 2011: October 25, Cameron only survives rebellion over EU referendum with opposition help (22 rebellions since May 2010) 2012: January 14, following Kelmarsh wind farm decision, Heaton Harris calls meeting of all Tory MPs 2011: May 23, Heaton Harris offers ‘Fighting Wind Farms’ guide to local campaigners 2010>2012 In coalition pro wind policy continues but Cameron cools on ‘green’ to appease right of Tory Party 2011 October 3, George Osborne says “a decade of environmental laws and regulations are piling costs on the energy bills of households”. 5
  6. 6. 2012: February 21, Cameron defends wind energy plans to Tory MPs saying subsidies will be cut 10% 2012: February 27, Cameron meets anti-wind MP delegation with planning and energy Ministers. In ‘listening mode’. 2012: September 4, Cameron reshuffles Cabinet to the right, opening way to expand aviation. 2012: September 15, Cameron reportedly tells Energy Minister John Hayes to “deliver a win for our people” on wind farms 2012: March 1, poll shows 60% support local wind farms but older Conservative voters are more likely to oppose 2012: March 8, Energy Secretary Ed Davey concedes to Heaton Harris that most of the onshore wind needed to hit targets is ‘already on the table’ 2012: May 23, Tim Montgomerie at Conservative Home says just 5-6% of Tory voters switching to UKIP could swing an election 2012: June 10, Lincolnshire County Council adopts a policy of no wind turbine within 2km of a dwelling; or 10km of a village 2012: June 19, Benedict Brogan at the Telegraph reports George Osborne will give ‘red meat’ to party members and ‘kill’ onshore wind ‘stone dead’ 2012: June 20, Heaton Harris and climate sceptic James Delingpole appear at National Opposition to Windfarms Conference2012: September, Ed Davey and George Osborne reportedly face off over promoting wind or gas/ fracking. Osborne wins, ring-fences NHS £, not renewables. 2012: September 6, James Delingpole is to stand as the ‘Anti Wind Farm Candidate’ in the Corby by-election 2012 Cameron u- turns on wind Osborne organises (?) split with LibDems and reversal of wind policy to appeal to right of Tory Party Wind funding is cut 2012: September 20, Heaton-Harris’s ‘anti-wind power fundraiser’ featuring Donald Trump is cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Heaton Harris writes Trump is ‘one of my bigger supporters’. 6
  7. 7. 2012: October 1, lobbying company Together Against Wind is set up by Chris Heaton Harris and Thomas Pursglove . Organises mass letter lobbies of PM & Ministers on wind energy & planning eg “Enough is Enough”. 2012: October 18, George Osborne calls environmental officials and green companies “the environmental Taliban” 2012: October 19, Nigel Farage attacks wind energy as a “loopy idea” on BBC R4 Any Questions. Exaggerates wind subsidies six-fold. 2012: October 23, Corby by election poll detail shows only 2 of 1503 (0.13%) voters intended to vote for James Delingpole. Heaton Harris is managing Tory campaign. 2012: October 23, Corby by election poll detail shows only 2 of 1503 (0.13%) voters intended to vote for James Delingpole. 2012: October 30, John Hayes energy Minister (Con) tells Daily Mail “enough is enough” of wind farms. Ed Davey (LD) protests angrily that policy has not been changed 2012: October 31, Delingpole exits Corby by election; writes ‘cunning strategy’ of Hayes with Nick Boles and Owen Paterson will strike blow to wind from which ‘it can never recover. 2012: November 12, Hayes tells C4 News it’s “job done” on wind farms 2012: November 13, thinking he was talking to an anti-wind activist, video reveals Heaton Harris telling undercover Greenpeace reporter about Corby “strategy” to use Delingpole to write anti- wind “into the DNA of the Tory Party”. Adds “please don’t tell anybody ever”. 2012 Planning policy is changed to be wind hostile 7
  8. 8. 2012: November 14, The Spectator reports that Osborne thinks ‘halting onshore wind’ is a ‘vote winner in marginal rural and semi- suburban constituencies’. Delingpole insists no plot but a ‘handy coincidence’. Theresa May excuses Heaton Harris as just ‘bragging’. , Greenpeace video shows Peter Lilley saying Osborne got “people into key positions”, Hayes was “really useful … on my side” and Greg Barker was “a nutter”. 2012: November 15, Labour win Corby by election. UKIP gets 14.3% in 3rd place, it’s best by-election result to date. 2013: January 23, Cameron promises a referendum on EU membership after he has renegotiated terms with the EU.2013: February 28, in the Eastleigh by- election UKIP comes 2nd with 24.2% 2013: June 6, Eric Pickles Local Govt Secretary announces changes to wind planning. Conservative Home says it ‘gives local communities a veto’ 2013: June 26, Tom Pursglove takes over as Director of Together Against Wind 2013: October 20, Heaton Harris says that as the govt will hit the 2020 target, it proves ‘subsidies are too high’. 2013: May 7, CPRE says Northamptonshire is ‘wind farm capital of England’ with 53 turbines in planning 2013: November 21, Cameron reportedly tells aides to “get rid of all the green crap” from energy bills 2014: March 3, the Guardian reports wind power is the most popular form of new energy: 48% would welcome it nearby against 19% for fracking. But rejection of wind farms has sharply increased from 25- 29% in 2009-12 to 41% in 2013. 2014: April 1, Cameron reportedly considers ‘new attack’ on wind farms in 2015 Manifesto 2012 - 14 Anti-wind policy becomes a Conservative dog whistle policy aimed at BLUKIP voters 8
  9. 9. 2014: April 10th, Pickles extends extra call-in powers on wind farms until the 2015 election and adds compulsory community consultation over larger developments. 2014: April 24, Conservatives pledge they will axe wind subsidies if elected with a majority in 2015. 2014: July 20, Owen Patterson loses job in reshuffle, calls environment groups “The Green Blob” 2014: July 29, ENDS Report says departure of Greg Barker ‘truly marks the end of an era’ – Barker went to the Arctic with Cameron in 2006. Down to need to ‘outflank UKIP’. 2014: May 15, govt proposes ending RO funding for larger solar projects to preserve ‘Levy Control Framework’ introduced by Osborne 2014: October 8, Heaton Harris writes on energy prices in Breitbart Blog 2014: October 28, Pickles stops his 50th windfarm 2014: October 7, 18, 19, Heaton Harris posts about noise and windfarms 2014: November 20, Peter Bone MP (CON) writes “UKIP is a good thing” as it has filled a vacuum on the right and driven Cameron to end funding for windfarms 2014: November 21, CPRE ‘open’ to debate on fracking 2014: November 21, Heaton Harris retweets Bjorn Lomborg 2014: May 22, UKIP comes first in the UK EP Elections with 27% of vote and 24 seats. Conservatives come third. 27.5% 2012 - 14 Implementation of new policies increasingly Stops onshore wind farms 9
  10. 10. 2015: April 4, Conservative Manifesto pledges ‘We will halt the spread of onshore wind farms’. 2015: January 12, Fabian Society finds 57% of onshore wind applications were rejected in 2014. Pickles even overturned some with community backing. 2015: May 7, anti-wind campaigner Tom Pursglove becomes MP in Northants 2015: May 7, Conservatives win an outright majority at General Election. 2015: May 18, poll finds 61% support govt allowing new onshore wind2014: June 18, Amber Rudd Energy Minister brings forward end to wind funding to April 2016, a year ahead of plans 2015: June 18, Pope delivers Encyclical on climate change 2015: August 28, Policy Exchange says govt planning policy effectively halts all wind development in England and is ‘a presumption against sustainable development’, yet 95% of objections to Cornish wind came from outsiders not locals and 80% report no problems from turbines. 2015: October 6, Renewables UK find in past year only 10% of new onshore wind consents were in England, 70% in Scotland 2015: October 24, Heaton Harris retweets Lomborg saying wind costs will be ‘enormous’ 12.64% 2012 - 14 The onshore wind pipeline and investment starts to dry up 10
  11. 11. 2016: June 24, Cameron resigns as Prime Minister 2016: January 18, Heaton Harris says he was a ‘greenie’ until he met Lomborg in 2001 2016: January 23, Nigel Farage of UKIP joins Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove to launch ‘Grassroots Out’ campaigning for Brexit 2016: February 12, ENDS reports investor confidence in wind is failing due to govt policies 2016: February 17, Bone and Pursglove (CON MPs) are to speak at UKIP Spring Conference 2016: February 17, Bone and Pursglove (CON MPs) are to speak at UKIP Spring Conference 2016: March 5, ‘Together Against Wind’ website goes offline. 2016: June 23, UK votes 51.89% Leave and 48.11% Remain in EU Referendum 2016: June 27, LSE blog on study of UKIP social media finds it has ‘little to say’ about rural life and ‘opposition to renewable energy’ redirects readers to climate scepticism 2016: July 13, Theresa May become Prime Minister 2016 Renewables policy in doldrums 11
  12. 12. 2016: October 28, UK 14th (all-time low) in country attractiveness for investment in renewables 2017: January 17, 1010 launches petition against exclusion of onshore wind from Contracts for a Difference system 2017: March 16, govt announces Contracts for a Difference round: onshore wind is excluded 2017: April 4, Sam Hall from Conservative ‘Bright Blue’ group shows 70% of Conservatives are concerned about climate change and are more positive about onshore wind than nuclear or fossil fuels 2017: May 11, ENDS reports UK renewables growth halved in 2016 2016: June 8, in General Election called by Theresa May the Conservatives lose their majority 2017: June 13, Roger Helmer UKIP MEP to stand down amidst allegations of misuse of EP funds 2017: June 23, Arup says onshore wind would be cheaper than nuclear (Hinkley) 2017: September 11, BBC Roger Harrabin reports cost of wind subsidy has halved since 2015 1.84% 2016 Onshore wind and solar prove to be cheapest new electricity sources but are locked out of access to market and funding First signs of Tory rethink 12
  13. 13. 2017: September 11, Carbon Brief finds that in latest Contracts for a Difference, onshore and offshore wind and solar are all cheaper than new gas 2017: September 24, Conservative MP Simon Clarke calls for ‘bar’ on new onshore wind ‘to be lifted’ 2017: September 26, Energy Minister Claire Perry opens 1st subsidy free solar farm in UK 2017: September 25, ECIU reports ‘outdated’ restriction on onshore wind will cost UK £1bn over 5 years 2017: November 8, Chris Goodall analyses a govt poll of 2000 people and finds just one person aged 16- 44 strongly opposed to wind. Even in over 65’s only 4% strongly oppose onshore wind. 2017: November 23, Guardian reports the Treasury is blocking all new funding for green power to 2025 2017: November 24, REA says Chancellor is blocking all new renewables from market access 2017 Onshore wind increasingly popular Gas more expensive than wind/ solar Treasury at loggerheads with Energy Ministers (ideological?) 13
  14. 14. 2018: January 18, The Independent reports that investment in renewables fell 56% in 20172018: February 11, Energy Ministers Claire Perry and Richard Harrington are reportedly in dispute with Conservative backbenchers over bringing back new onshore wind 2018: March 19, Greenpeace finds govt projections of 4,000 fracking wells by 2032 now cut to 155 2018: March 9, a new version of the NPPF is published and Town and Country Planning Association fears it will ‘downgrade’ capacity to deliver on Climate Change Act obligations 2018: March 29, Paul Hatchwell at ENDS reports the ‘cupboard is bare’ for onshore wind pipeline beyond 2030 2018: April 26, govt polling finds 71% think UK ‘not investing fast enough in alternative energy’ and support for renewables has risen to 85% 2018: April 26, govt polling finds 71% think UK ‘not investing fast enough in alternative energy’ and support for renewables has risen to 85% 2018 Growing concern at propsects for UK decarbonization without more onshore wind or solar Fracking not delivering as expected 14
  15. 15. 2018: May 11, pro-wind groups say since Jun 2015 there has been a 92% drop in new onshore wind capacity and only one new community turbine 2018: May 24, 1st subsidy free wind farm raises finance (Withernwick II extn - onshore) 2018: May 25, Big Field wind farm in Cornwall first proposed in 2014 is turned down in High Court 2018: May 25, YouGov survey of MPs finds just 8% know onshore wind is cheapest new electricity, and 12% think it’s nuclear. Plus most MPs think 20% of the public strongly oppose wind – in fact it’s 2%. 2018: August 26, Alison Fogg writes at SpinWatch about how fear of UKIP drove SW Tories to be anti- wind and links between UKIP and the CPRE. 2018: August 30 , Clive Betts MP chair of Commons Local Govt Committee calls it ‘ridiculous’ that “onshore wind is a non-no” but communities have to accept fracking “whether they agree or not”. 2018 Fracking criticism grows Wind requirement for subsidy declines 15
  16. 16. 2018: November 18, Energy Secretary Greg Clark says the “energy trilemma” is “coming to an end” 2018: October 20, according to Prof David Toke the Treasury is opposing almost all renewable development while continuing nuclear, fossil and fracking subsidies. 2018: November 18, Energy Secretary Greg Clark says the “energy trilemma” is “coming to an end” as “cheap power is now green power” 2019: January 7, Liz Truss Treasury Minister refers to ‘junking white elephants’ in spending review; ENDS says she means green energy programmes 2019: January 7, Liz Truss Treasury Minister refers to ‘junking white elephants’ in spending review; ENDS says she means green energy programmes 2019: January 20, Heaton Harris’s website still offers help to wind objectors 2019: January 31, Greg Clark writes in the FT that falling costs mean new energy such as wind can be deployed in years not decades and foresees an Energy White Paper ‘this summer’ 2018 Energy Minister signals possible change of tack 16

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