Public still supports solar energy

September 4, 2013

A new survey from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed that UK residents are still supportive over plans for renewable energy. 

Despite a number of negative media reports concerning renewable energy policies and developments, support for new technology is still strong.

The sixth quarterly tracker survey, which saw 2,124 households polled during early July, revealed that the DECC's energy strategies are still maintaining public backing. 

Respondents were asked whether they were supportive or in opposition to the use of renewable energy in order to provide electricity, fuel and heat. 

Some 76 per cent of respondents said they "strongly supported" renewable energy. This has represented a minor drop on the 82 per cent recorded in a similar survey conducted earlier this year. 

However, the small drop in the strong levels of support has suggested that UK energy users are unconcerned about the criticism the renewables market has faced in recent times. 

This is supported by the revelation that just five per cent of respondents strongly opposed renewables, which is the same percentage reached in the very first quarterly tracker survey. 

A total of 18 per cent showed no preference for either renewable or non-renewable energy, which marks the equal highest total since the survey began. 

There was an increase in the numbers of people who believe that renewable energy policies provide economic benefits – albeit a small one. Some 71 per cent believe this to be the case, which is up from the 69 per cent who said this in the very first survey. 

A minor increase in the percentage of people willing to have a large-scale renewable project in their local area was also recorded, up from 55 to 56 per cent between the first and most recent report. 

The most support for any renewable technology was given towards solar, with these developments achieving 81 per cent support from respondents. Tidal and wave energy came second with 72 per cent, while offshore wind was marginally behind with 71 per cent. 

Onshore wind and biomass achieved the two lowest percentages of support, achieving 65 and 60 per cent backing respectively. 
 

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