Public support remains high for renewables

76 percent of respondents surveyed by the government “support the use of renewable energy for providing our electricity, fuel and heat”, according to figures published this week.

This is the same level of support as the last time DECC’s quarterly Public Attitudes Tracking Survey was conducted. The latest edition, which collected data between 25th and 29th September, reveals no more than a ±1% change in support for any of the renewable technologies covered in the survey.

Approval rates were as follows:

Overall: 76 percent
Biomass: 60 percent
Offshore wind: 72 percent
Onshore wind: 66 percent
Solar: 82 percent
Wave & tidal: 71 percent

REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska said: This is a timely reminder that renewables enjoy higher levels of public support than any other energy generation technology. Renewable energy protects the environment and boosts home-grown jobs and investments.

“However, we know we cannot afford to be complacent as more and more people are struggling to pay their fuel bills. We support the Government’s intention to ensure costs to consumers are kept to a minimum, provided they do not undermine jobs and investment in the green economy. Our members are poised to deliver – and the UK desperately needs new low carbon plant this decade – but government must give unequivocal clarity on continued financial support to unlock these investments.

“Renewables will not need subsidy forever. The more mature technologies, such as onshore wind and solar PV, will be able to compete without subsidy in years, not decades. By investing in renewables today, we grow the industry, bring down the unit costs and insulate energy consumers against the volatile prices and pollution of fossil fuels, forever.”