RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the wind and marine energy industries, has welcomed the appointment of the Conservative MP John Hayes as energy minister.

He replaces Charles Hendry, who served in the role for more than two years since the formation of the coalition government in May 2010.

Jennifer Webber, RenewableUK’s director of external affairs, said, “Mr Hayes brings a wealth of experience from his previous role as minister for further education, skills and lifelong learning. We know that he already appreciates the importance of providing the right training for the skilled workforce of the future. Tens of thousands of those workers will be in the green energy sector, so Mr Hayes’ experience at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will serve him in good stead as energy minister, and we look forward to working with him”.

“His predecessor Charles Hendry made an outstanding contribution to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. He was instrumental in the setting up of the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, which published a key report in June showing how the cost of offshore wind can be driven down by more than 30% in the next seven years.

Mr Hendry also played a key role in the particularly challenging task of drafting the Energy Bill. He worked closely on the intricate details of this key piece of legislation which will determine the financial support framework for the energy industry for years to come. His successor will need to acquaint himself with this brief as swiftly as possible, as Electricity Market Reform must proceed without delay, so that future investment in wind and marine energy is not put at risk. RenewableUK will be engaging with Mr Hayes and his team to ensure that he fully understands the perspective of the wind and marine energy industries on these crucial issues.”