Support for renewable energy is at an all-time high in UK, reveals government survey

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16th May 2018 16:55 - Utilities

Support for renewable energy is at an all time high Support for renewable energy is at an all-time high in UK:The number of people in favour of clean energy hit a record of 85% this month, according to a new government survey. The new figures show an increase in public support over the last three months, up from 79% in February. 

The Public Attitudes Tracker (PAT), enables the government to question respondents about their feelings towards climate change and energy sources. The latest findings show record numbers of people are in support of renewable energy for the provision of electricity, heat and fuel -  the highest level since the quarterly surveys were introduced five years ago. Just three percent of the 2,000 respondents surveyed were opposed to cleaner energy options.


Support for renewable technologies

Support for solar power reached a new high of 87% amongst those surveyed, as did offshore wind farms at 83%. Other renewable energy options were also championed, with 81% in support of energy from wave and tidal technologies as well as onshore wind and biomass, backed by 76% and 69% of respondents, respectively.

The number of people in favour of an onshore wind farm in their area has significantly increased from 58% in 2017 to 66% in the latest data. Twelve months ago, 70% of those polled believed renewable technologies economically benefited the UK, while the latest report reveals a step up in support to 75%.

Support for nuclear and shale gas was significantly lower, with 38% in support of nuclear energy (22% in opposition) and 18% in favour of shale gas (32% in opposition).

Climate change concerns

The survey also revealed interesting insight into opinions around climate change. Almost three quarters (74%) said they were 'very' or 'fairly concerned' about climate change, up on last May's figures of 71%.

Climate change worries were felt by 86% of respondents from higher-income brackets while in the lowest social grade, the count was 62%. When asked about the causes of climate change,  just under half said they believed  it to be caused by humans, while 10% said it was down to natural causes. The remainder (40%) believed it is a combination of both.

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