Public opinion warms to renewables

DECC carries out regular surveys of public opinion on energy issues. Round 17 has just been completed. The first was in early 2012.

The most recent poll shows increased support for the main renewables.

·          Onshore wind reached a new high in support. The percentage of net approval (those in favour less those against) rose to 60%. The percentage thinking onshore wind is a good thing rose 3% from the previous survey while those opposing fell by 3%. The number against onshore wind was 9%, a new low. Only 3% of respondents ‘strongly oppose’ turbines on land.

·      Offshore wind also saw a new peak in approval. The net approval rate was 71% with only 5% opposed. The number ‘strongly opposed’ fell to a new low of 1%.

·      Solar PV has a net approval rating of 80% is close to the previous peak. Only 1% ‘strongly oppose’.

Support for nuclear is stable.

·      Net approval numbers have moved around in recent surveys but at 15% the current poll figures are unchanged from the last round.

Smart meters growing

·      20% of respondents have a smart meter. The numbers using the energy use monitor are rising sharply.

Climate change worries people more.

·      Those saying they are ‘concerned’ total 70%, a new high. Those unconcerned fell to 29%, a new low.

·      Those seeing climate change as being caused by man’s activities increased in number. Those who see it as a result of natural processes fell to the lowest number ever.

·      Climate change is one of the top three of a list of political issues for 22% of people. Those putting it top account for 6% of the respondents.

I saw no other obvious trends in the survey results but I may have missed something.