Public Support for Renewables Climbs to 79 Per Cent

World | Renewable Energy

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Public support for renewables has climbed year-on-year, according to the latest government survey on attitudes to energy and climate issues.

Asked if they supported or opposed the use of renewable energy, 49 per cent of respondent said they supported it and 30 per cent said they strongly supported its use.

The result represents a slight drop on the 82 per cent support recorded in the last round of the quarterly tracker poll, although it support climbed year-on-year from 74 per cent to 79 per cent.

Opposition to renewables continued to be confined to a small minority. Just three per cent said they opposed its use, while once per cent said they were strongly opposed.

The wider results from the latest poll of just over 2,000 people revealed minimal changes in attitudes.

Support for nuclear energy remained solid with 34 per cent supportive of the technology and 22 per cent opposed.

Meanwhile, opposition to shale gas extraction continued to outstrip support, with 32 per cent opposed and only 16 per cent in favour.

The survey also confirmed that only 24 per cent of people claim to have given a lot of thought to saving energy at home, with 50 per cent claiming to have given the issue a fair amount of thought.

Similarly, the survey underlined the challenges faced by the renewable heat sector.

Although 65 per cent of people claimed to be aware of renewable heating technologies, only three per cent had a renewable heating system installed in their home.

“Moreover, only a small proportion of those without these systems were likely to install them in their home,” the report added. “Seven per cent were likely to install solar thermal panels, two per cent a biomass boiler, two per cent an air source heat pump and one per cent a ground source heat pump.”

Amongst those who were unlikely to install renewable heating systems, the most common reasons given were concerns over cost and the difficulty of installing such technologies in rented properties.