Almost eight in ten British people support the use of renewable energy to provide the UK's electricity, fuel and heat, according to the latest figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change .
DECC's latest Public Attitudes Tracker, published just days before the general election, also shows that nearly three-quarters (71%) agree that renewable energy provides economic benefits to the UK. On the various renewable technologies, solar was the most favoured with 81% stating their support, followed by wave and tidal (74%). There was also considerable support for offshore wind (65%) and biomass (63%).
This comes in contrast to technologies such as nuclear 39% and 24% for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas.
It also shows the public that two-thirds of the UK is very or fairly concerned about climate change (66%) and about energy security, with 72% very/fairly concerned about the UK becoming too dependent on energy from other countries.
The latest DECC figures come shortly after a survey of the Renewable Energy Association's (REA) membership which revealed that 95% of renewable industries feel that the main political parties have failed to adequately address the needs of the sector throughout the ongoing election campaign.*
Commenting on the survey, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association, Dr Nina Skorupska said:
“Public support for renewables has been consistently high for many years, with the benefits to energy security and climate change clear. Renewables hold the key to decarbonising the UK and the growth of our sector goes hand in hand with future proofed resilient and cheaper bills and thousands of skilled jobs across the country.
Despite this, our membership survey showed that renewable energy companies across the country have felt sidelined during the election campaign. Therefore, as we approach the election it is vital that the political parties acknowledge the public's support for our sector and work with us to enable the renewables industry to thrive”.