Govt survey - 83 per cent voice support for solar power

There are high levels of public support for the continued expansion of renewable energy capacity in the UK, according to the results of one of the largest surveys ever undertaken into attitudes towards energy policy and climate change.

The results of the poll, which was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and released today, reveals 82 per cent of people support plans to pursue a "mix of energy sources to ensure a reliable supply of electricity" in the UK.
Moreover, the survey echoes the results of a series of recent polls that have shown that renewables represent the most popular energy source among the public.

Nearly eight out of 10 respondents to the DECC survey said they supported using renewable energy to provide electricity, fuel and heat, while just five per cent opposed the use of renewables.

Similarly, 69 per cent agreed with the statement that "renewable energy industries and developments provide economic benefits to the UK", while 55 per cent agreed they would be happy to have a large-scale renewable energy development in their area. In contrast, fewer than three out of 10 said they would disagree with such a development.

There were also high levels of support for a variety of renewable technologies, with 83 per cent voicing support for solar power, 76 per cent backing offshore wind projects, 75 per cent supporting wave and tidal arrays, and 66 per cent coming out in favour of onshore wind farms.

The results will help to strengthen the hand of Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey as he seeks to resist growing calls from some Conservative backbenchers to shift the coalition's energy policy away from renewables. Trailing the results of the survey last month,

Davey said that they revealed a "clear mandate" for the continued expansion of renewable energy capacity.''