Support for onshore wind and solar power at all time high

Onshore wind power is backed by 73 per cent of people surveyed
Onshore wind power is backed by 73 per cent of people surveyed
Share this article
0
Have your say

Public support for onshore wind and solar power are at all-time highs, an official survey shows.

Almost three-quarters of people (73 per cent) back onshore wind farms and solar has a huge 86 per cent support.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) support biomass, 80 per cent are in favour of offshore wind farms and wave and tidal technologies are backed by 79 per cent of people.

The individual technologies all recorded their highest level of support in the quarterly public attitudes tracker from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) since it began in March 2012.

READ MORE: Leader comment: Diesel rethink must be fair to owners

The survey of more than 2,000 people also revealed continued high support for renewable power overall, at 79 per cent.

Almost six out of 10 people (58 per cent) would be happy to have a large-scale renewables scheme in their area, it found.

More than seven in 10 (71 per cent) were either very or fairly worried about climate change, and most people thought humans were either mainly or partly responsible for rising temperatures.

But just 5 per cent thought climate change was the biggest challenge facing the UK, while one in five (21 per cent) put it in the top three.

The NHS was far out in front as the area where the country is facing its biggest challenge, named by 40 per cent of respondents, up from 13 per cent in March 2012.

READ MORE: ‘Tailored test’ will aim to help men with prostate cancer

The Beis survey also revealed around a third of people (30 per cent) were either fairly or very worried about paying their energy bills, a similar level to the same time last year, but much lower than a few years ago.

The support for renewables prompted calls for political parties to back the technologies in their General Election manifestos.

The previous government cut solar subsidies and curbed the development of onshore wind farms.

Juliet Davenport, chief executive of renewable energy company Good Energy, said: “It’s fantastic to see that all renewable technologies, including onshore wind and solar, have reached their highest level of support from the British public and that well over half would also support a new large-scale renewable project where they live.

“This survey is a clear message to any new government that climate change is a prime concern among the electorate and that they should listen to public opinion, champion renewable energy and make the UK a world leader in clean, green technology.”

Industry body RenewableUK’s executive director, Emma Pinchbeck, said: “As political parties get ready to launch their manifestos, it must surely be worth their attention that nearly 80% of the general public support renewable energy, and this remains true across all demographics.

“The public is well aware that home-grown renewables provide clean and affordable energy for the future, along with huge economic benefits to local communities.”