Results from the latest public attitudes tracking survey conducted by the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change again show overwhelming support for the country’s renewable energy industry.
The survey is conducted over several days in face-to-face interviews, using a representative sample of 2,103 UK households. The questions asked have been relatively similar over the past several surveys, as have the answers — a rarity, I have found, in polls regarding energy policy and the like, which often fluctuate wildly along with the prevailing politics.
When asked whether respondents “support or oppose the use of renewable energy for providing our electricity, fuel and heat,” an overwhelming majority responded in the positive. 27% of respondents “strongly support” such a decision, while 51% “support” (15% “neither support or oppose”, while a combined 5% “strongly oppose” or “oppose” renewable energy).
In fact, when asked about specific renewable energy technologies — including wave and tidal, solar, offshore and onshore wind, amongst others — the overwhelming response was positive, hovering around 25% “strongly supporting” and 50% “supporting” such technologies.
Energy saving was another strong issue raised by the survey, with 27% of respondents concerning themselves “a lot” with saving energy in their homes, and 48% “a fair amount”.
Support of nuclear energy was lacklustre, but so was opposition to nuclear, with total support at 42% and total opposition at 24%. Needless to say, the nuclear vs. renewable energy debate is one that will continue for some time in the UK.
James Murray from Business Green extracted a quote from director of external affairs at RenewableUK, Jennifer Webber:
“It’s clear from this independent poll that while public support for wind and marine energy remains rock solid with a two-thirds majority or higher, people are increasingly disenchanted with non-renewable technologies,” she said. “This latest survey should prompt politicians from all parties to sit up and take notice of the majority of the public, who’ve made it clear that they support onshore and offshore wind power”.