DECC has been carrying out a regular survey of attitudes to energy and climate matters since March 2012. Today saw the publication of the latest wave of results. Support for onshore wind was at its highest level: 70% are in favour and only 12% oppose. The 8 page detailed press release announcing the release of the data doesn’t once mention wind - onshore or offshore - and you have to delve into the spreadsheets published today to find this out. The Conservative Party has just announced what is, in effect, a commitment to block further onshore wind after the next election. We can all therefore understand that the rise in support for this renewable technology is embarrassing to ministers. But DECC statisticians should not manipulate official data in order to support the viewpoints of Conservative politicians.
The results of the nine waves of the survey – carried out every quarter for two years are below. The increase between wave 8 and wave 9 is statistically significant (95% confidence). The previous highest level of support for onshore wind was 68%.
Support for offshore wind and for solar PV in the most recent survey also rose by statistically significant amounts to 77% and 85% respectively. Offshore wind recorded its highest ever level of support across the 9 surveys. As with onshore, PV and offshore wind were not referred to in the long and detailed press release.
The percentage of people who support renewable projects in their home area went up to 59% while the percentage opposing fell to 17%. The balance (support less opposition percentages) increased from 36% in 2012 to 42% now. Once again, this is not mentioned. A very disappointing piece of work indeed from DECC.