Almost nine in 10 people want to see the government ramp up the UK's use of clean domestic energy and reduce the country's reliance on imported gas, a new YouGov poll reveals.
Just under two-thirds of the 2,884 people questioned on behalf of campaign group Friends of the Earth listed wind, wave, solar, or tidal as power sources they wanted to see playing a greater role in the UK's electricity mix over the next decade, while just two per cent backed an increase in gas capacity.
9.5 per cent of UK electricity comes from renewable energy sources and Friends of the Earth is concerned the government is encouraging a new "dash for gas" by exempting gas-fired power plants from emissions restructions that will effectively ban new coal power stations.
The group claims increasing the UK's reliance on domestic renewable sources would not only help decarbonise the energy sector, but would also enhance energy security and create new green jobs. Government figures
show investment in renewables over the last year yielded nearly 14,000 new jobs.
"The public has given a clear vote of confidence to clean British energy from our wind, sun and sea – it makes no sense for the government to pursue an unwanted, costly dash for gas that's causing our fuel bills to rocket," said Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth's director of policy and campaigns.
"Ministers have a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our electricity market to help smaller businesses, schools and communities plug into clean and affordable power.
"David Cameron must back Britain by using his speech to kick-start a switch to clean British energy – it's time to wave goodbye to costly fossil fuels and develop affordable power for the future."