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More renewables required to ease energy crisis say public

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Polling in every constituency in Britain, published today by Survation, has revealed that the majority of the public think the new Government need to increase investment in renewables, including wind and solar farms, to help ease the country’s energy crisis.

Support for renewables remains very high across the country, with 81% of the public in favour of solar energy, 74% in favour of onshore wind (76% offshore) and 72% behind tidal and wave power.

Of those surveyed, 77% feel that new wind and solar farms should be used to reduce electricity bills, while 76% of people support building renewable energy projects in their local area. Support among Conservative voters is even higher, at 84% (new wind and solar farms) and 81% respectfully. 

Onshore wind continues to be popular, with 64% of Conservative voters thinking that Government should end the effective block on new projects in England and only 16% feeling said block should remain.

In terms of renewables overall, 68% of the public polled want to see an increase in Government investment. Nearly half the country (40%) stated that they would be less favorable to the Conservative party if the new regime weakens climate change policy.

Dan McGrail, the Chief Executive of RenewableUK, who commissioned the survey, said:

“These findings are wake-up call to every politician, including the new Prime Minister, that the overwhelming majority of people want to see new investment in renewables and are happy to see new wind and solar farms built in their local area to drive energy bills down. At a time when we need to shift from expensive gas to low-cost renewables as rapidly as possible, most people agree that if local communities support having a wind farm nearby, the Government shouldn’t stand in their way”.

“We’re keen to work with the new Prime Minister Liz Truss to slash energy bills by building more renewable energy projects faster, which means bringing in a planning system which reflects the widespread public support for these technologies, and setting ambitious targets for clean energy in each of their annual power auctions over the course of this decade. That will also help us to maximise jobs and attract billions in private investment”.

Sam Hall, Director of the Conservative Environment Network said:

“This new polling shows that onshore renewables are popular not only with the public but even more so with Conservative voters. Renewables are popular and cheap, cut our reliance on imported fossil fuels, and support UK jobs.”

“With new renewables nine times cheaper than gas power, the government should let the market deploy these technologies to ease the energy crisis. It should allow more solar farms to be built on unproductive land. It should also lift the de facto ban on onshore wind in England, provided that local communities consent in the same way that Liz Truss plans to do with fracking.”

The full data from the polling is available to view here.

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