Majority of the British public want more wind farms built

October 22nd, 2012 by RenewableUK

wind turbines operating in the countryside (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

An independent opinion poll published by YouGov shows that a clear majority of the British public want more wind farms to be built.

Fifty-five percent of those questioned say the number of UK wind farms should be higher than it is at present. Fourteen percent say it should be maintained at current levels.

The survey commissioned by The Sunday Times shows that wind energy has much greater public support than nuclear power and fossil fuels.

Only 40% of British people want more nuclear, just 17% of people want more gas and coal-fired power stations, and 11% support more oil.

Less than a third of those questioned (32%) supported “fracking” – fracturing rocks to extract shale gas, which, the survey notes, could risk contaminating ground water as well as causing minor earthquakes. Thirty percent opposed fracking and 38% didn’t have an opinion.

The only source of energy more popular than wind was solar power, with 72% in favour.

Most of the figures tally broadly with those revealed by the same survey carried out in 2011, showing a consistent level of support for renewables.

wind turbines in the countryside on 4 January 2012 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Maf Smith, RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive, said “this is an unequivocal vote of confidence in renewable energy.”

“A clear majority of British people support building more wind farms to meet our country’s clean energy needs. That support is consistently strong, in this and other independent polls.”

“One stark message from this survey is the public’s evident disenchantment with fossil fuels, including the unpopularity of fracking for shale gas.”

“The British public is telling us that we are right to be making this landmark transition from a perilous fossil fuel addiction to a low-carbon future”.

The poll also shows that only 11% of people think that UK government targets for reducing carbon emissions are the main cause for an increase in the cost of energy, compared to 17% (over 50% more) who say the rising prices of oil and gas are to blame for the hike in our energy bills.

Only 4% think investing in new infrastructure and power plants is the main reason for bills going up.

Maf Smith said “the poll also shows that investing in clean energy to safeguard our environment for the future has a significantly higher level of public support than paying more and more for non-renewables like gas and oil.”


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