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Consumer Interest In Renewable Energy ‘On The Rise’

According to recent data, a range of renewable energy developments are enjoying strong support from the British public. 

There is growing support for the use of renewable energy throughout the UK, with 82 per cent of people expressing their support for this kind of strategy. Opposition to renewables, meanwhile, is very low at three per cent and just one per cent are strongly opposed to the concept.

This is according to the latest Energy and Climate Change Public Attitude Tracker (Wave 23), published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, showing that a range of renewable energy developments are enjoying strong support from the British public.

For example, 84 per cent of those asked said they’re in favour of solar energy, 79 per cent support offshore wind and wave, and tidal, 74 per cent support onshore wind and 69 per cent voiced their support for biomass.

Nuclear energy, meanwhile, has enjoyed relatively stable support over the lifetime of the tracker. At the moment, 33 per cent support nuclear compared to the 25 per cent that are opposed.

However, there are still concerns regarding various aspects of the country’s future energy security, although these do appear to be on the decline. Some 59 per cent think the UK is becoming too dependent on energy from other nations (down from 66 per cent), 50 per cent think we’re not developing the technology to use fossil fuels sufficiently (down from 57 per cent) and 51 per cent believe that the country’s supplies of fossil fuels aren’t enough to meet demand (down from 59 per cent).

Executive Director of RenewableUK, Emma Pinchbeck, commented on the findings, saying that the cheapest way to generate power is onshore wind and it’s clear to see this technology receives good public backing. However, in some parts of the country new wind farms that do enjoy public support are being blocked from competing in the market – which has led to governments in Wales and Scotland, the Confederation of British Industry and the National Infrastructure Commission calling for onshore wind to be allowed a foot in the door.

“The popularity of offshore wind and marine renewables remain sky high as they are breathing new life into coastal communities and building vibrant supply chains up and down the country. An overwhelming 82 per cent of people support developing all types of renewable energy – so when it comes to reaching out to voters, renewable energy is an issue that matters,” she went on to say.

James Court, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Renewable Energy Association made further comments, confirming that it’s unsurprising a rise in public support for renewables has now been seen, given dramatic drops in prices and record highs where generation is concerned.

He called on the government to unblock cheaper forms of power, including biomass, solar and onshore wind, instead of focusing on the likes of gas, diesel and nuclear, which are still being supported by Whitehall.

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