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YouGov poll proves renewables still the popular choice after epic week for wind

10 February 2013

  • Wind and Marine joint 2nd as technology choice for Britain’s future energy needs
  • Two thirds of people urge financial support for wave and tidal, just 13% against
  • 78% of people want low carbon sources of power for Britain’s future energy needs strengthening calls for a 2030 decarbonisation target.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Sunday Times and released today showed that support remains high for wind and marine power.

Those questioned in the poll, conducted this week, placed wind and marine joint 2nd after being asked which technologies they supported most providing for Britain’s future energy needs, with support for wind (18%) and wave and tidal (18%) more than three times the support for gas (5%) and nine times the support for coal (2%). Nuclear came top with 26%, a clear indicator that Brits want a low-carbon future, in the week that the Conservative Chair of the House of Commons’ Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and the Labour leader’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and the Environment jointly tabled an amendment to the Energy Bill calling for a 2030 decarbonisation target.

With just over a fortnight until RenewableUK’s wave and tidal conference, it is clear that support remains high for wave and tidal with two thirds of those questioned saying that the Government is right to pay energy companies to help develop it, and just 13% saying the Government should not. This was the highest polling of support for any of the technologies surveyed. Wind saw 56% in favour of continued financial support, and more in favour of support than against in all voting intentions and all age-groups.

The findings echo the latest wave of the Department for Energy and Climate Change attitude tracker, surveys which earlier this week found nearly 8 in 10 (79%) support renewable energy with only 5% opposed, and a clear majority happy to have a large-scale renewable energy development in their area. The tracker found support for onshore wind at 64%, offshore wind 72% and wave and tidal at 71%. Opposition varied from 4%-13%.

The results also come a week after wind connected to the grid generated a record 5GW of power, equivalent to 12% of GB demand.

Commenting on the YouGov/Sunday Times poll, Jennifer Webber, Director of External Affairs said: “Each time one of these national polls is published we see the same message – resounding support for wind, wave and tidal, continued acceptance of financial support for them and understanding of the benefits. Government needs to focus all its efforts on realising the low carbon future people are calling out for – 78% of people polled chose a low-carbon source of energy as their choice for the future. To achieve the investment needed to secure people’s overwhelming request for a low carbon future, we need to see a signal from Government beyond 2020. The 2030 target would be a great way to achieve that.”

NOTES

  1. The YouGov poll conducted for the Sunday Times polled 1930 GB adults between 7th and 8th February. The full results can be found here: http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/zo540gm94e/YG-Archive-Pol-Sunday-Times-results-08-10213.pdf with energy results on pages 8 and 9.
  2.  Rt Hon Tim Yeo MP and Barry Gardiner MP’s amendment to the Energy Bill suggesting a 2030 decarbonisation target can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2012-2013/0100/amend/pbc1000702a.pdf
  3.  RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal Conference takes place between 27th and 28th February at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London and will be addressed by Rt Hon Gregory Barker MP from DECC and Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP. More details are here: http://www.renewableuk.com/en/events/conferences-and-exhibitions/wave-and-tidal-2013/index.cfm
  4. Details of the latest DECC Public Attitudes Tracker survey are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-attitudes-tracking-survey-wave-4

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RenewableUK is the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, specialising in onshore wind, offshore wind and wave & tidal energy. Formed in 1978, we have an established, large corporate membership ranging from small independent companies, to large international corporations and manufacturers. Acting as a central point of information and a united, representative voice for our membership, we conduct research; find solutions; organise events, facilitate business development, and promote wind and marine renewables to government, industry, the media and the public. Our vision is for renewable energy to play a leading role in powering the UK.