New poll shows public support for renewable energy

A new government poll tracking attitudes to energy policies has found that eco-friendly technologies have the most support among the British public.

10th February 2016

New poll shows public support for renewable energy

A new government poll tracking attitudes to energy policies has found that eco-friendly technologies have the most support among the British public.

78 per cent of those canvassed said that they were in favour of renewable energy technologies, including wind power, solar and biomass. This compared very favourably with support for fracking, which reached only 23 per cent overall, and nuclear power, which found support from 36 per cent of those polled.

On the subject of fracking, the poll also asked responders how much they felt they knew about the subject. Those who claimed to know a lot about fracking were more likely to be against it, the survey found. Among those most knowledgeable about fracking, 33 per cent were in favour and 53 per cent were against, while among those who thought they knew a little about it, 26 per cent were in favour and 40 per cent against. Overall, 23 per cent were in favour and 29 per cent were against, with the remaining 48 per cent undecided. Only four per cent were actively against pursuing renewable energy sources.

The poll, which is carried out annually by the Department of Energy and Climate (DECC), revealed that public attitudes are currently dramatically different to government policy, according to Greenpeace UK's chief scientist Dr Doug Parr. He said that the UK ranking of energy sources by popularity was the reverse of the government's energy priorities. The government is actively encouraging the development of a fracking industry in the UK, while cutting support for renewables.

Dr Parr claimed that as clean energy options become cheaper, public support will continue to grow, while a DECC spokesman emphasised the need to secure domestic gas supplies.

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