65% Prefer Wind Turbines To Fracking Wells In UK Poll

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A UK poll of 2,000 people found that 65% would prefer wind turbine technology located near their home, rather than a fracking well. While this result is not too surprising, about 14% said they did prefer the fracking wells to wind turbines.


ICM for Co-operative Energy conducted the polling and also found that solar power was the most preferred source of electricity, with 30%. Only 2% said they preferred shale or gas from fracking.

“There is a real appetite amongst the general public to see renewable energy grow and prosper, but with more emphasis on community energy schemes which allow local communities to share the rewards,” explained Ramsay Dunning, from Co-operative Energy.

About 47% of those polled said they support paying a small fee to encourage renewable energy.

The British Geological Society has published a list of potential problems with fracking:

  • carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions, particularly the potential for increased fugitive CH4 emissions during drilling compared with drilling for conventional gas
  • the volumes of water and the chemicals used in fracking and their subsequent disposal
  • the possible risk of contaminating groundwater competing land-use requirements in densely populated areas
  • the physical effects of fracking in the form of increased seismic activity.

It’s a very obvious and arguably even a silly point to say that wind turbines have none of these potential issues, except the land needed for locating and operating them. Wind turbines seem preferable in almost every way to fracking, so one might say the polling was of a rhetorical nature.

Currently, the UK gets about 40% of its electricity from burning natural gas, which proponents have pointed out produces less air pollution than using coal power plants. However, fracking support has declined considerably. (A recent study conducted in the US found some public health problems related to fracking.)

It seems very typical for these situations involving the use of conventional forms of energy and renewables to be framed as arguments or even fights. What often happens is that they are both used simultaneously, so the rancor that surfaces on either or both “sides” of the political discourse is too often unnecessary or sort of irrelevant.

Image Credit: kloniwotski, Wiki Commons

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Jake Richardson

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeRsol

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15 thoughts on “65% Prefer Wind Turbines To Fracking Wells In UK Poll

    • Short run and to convince Conservatives to invest in renewable’s by expanding the energy sector in all areas to up the economy. The only language they understand, along with the mainstream TV Media (not looking at the internet).

    • They will ask their brother to use his fracking profits to lend them a hand paying the bills.

    • Money?

  • Increase taxes on fossil fuels instead of having renewable energy fees.

  • Well, according to the ruling party, they (the folks who, “65% Prefer Wind Turbines To Fracking Wells In UK Poll.”) just don’t know what’s good for them.

  • Aah, but how many would prefer just one well, in place of a thousand wind generators?

    Because that would be the energy equivalence, & then only when the wind is blowing.

    • Except that well will run dry in a very short number of years while the wind will continue to blow for centuries upon centuries.

      (Plus there’s that climate change thing that you might have heard about….)

      • Shale gas wells will produce gas for more than three times as long as wind generator gearboxes last – thats about 3,000 gearboxes to one shale gas well.

        • Let’s see some data to back up your assertion. Compare apples to apples. How many gas wells do you have data for that kept producing for over 25 years?

        • “It has been shown that the average productive life of a Barnett Shale well is 7.5 years. From these early production results it looks as though these Marcellus wells may share that same short lifespan. The trend points to a 65-percent drop in production over the first 3 years, with further declines of 8 percent per year after that. ”


          Other wells have longer lifetimes. Not all wells are the same.

          And, as I said, the wind will continue to blow for centuries to come.

          Turbines will wear out. But the cost of a new wind farm is now down below 4c/kWh which is cheaper than extracting NG and burning it in a CCNG. And those CCNG plants also wear out.

          • The 8 percent decline is the normal one. The higher decline in the months/ initial years following the frac treatment is due to the protracted dissipation of the supercharge that is the drive energy of the enormous amount of fluid pumped into the rock during the treatment.

            Simple Pascal’s Law for anyone who understands reservoirs.

            Wind farms are very very dirty things – but mainly at source & elimination. Supporting them is ultimate nimbyism.

          • It depends on the field. The Marcellus wells hold up, in other fields production drops very rapidly requiring re-fracking or new wells.

            Point is, natural gas is not forever.

            Another point, we have to stop burning fossil fuels.

          • Wow, no wonder Oklahoma is having so many earthquakes, with all that “supercharge” pressure due to the “drive energy” of the “enormous amount of fluid pumped”.
            So the earthquakes will stop once the well is on its way to dying out, right?

  • What is the matter with those people who prefer fracking wells? Do they prefer jeopardizing water supplies and human health to a clean source of electricity which they perceive to have “Visual pollution” ? These people should have the option of storing spent nuclear wastes in their back yard.

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