Nearly nine out of ten of those surveyed by environmental group Friends of the Earth want to see the UK increase the use of renewable energy.
The YouGov poll of 2884 adults earlier this month found that 85% would like to see the government increase the amount of clean domestically-produced energy in its portfolio and reduce reliance on foreign gas imports.
When those surveyed where asked what energy sources they would like to see providing more electricity in ten years’ time, 64% said wind, wave, solar or tidal power, with only 2% backing gas.
Currently, only around 9.5% of the UK’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources and the country lags behind its European neighbours in its investment in the technology.
“The public has given a clear vote of confidence to clean British energy from our wind, sun and sea – it makes no sense for the government to pursue an unwanted, costly dash for gas that’s causing our fuel bills to rocket,” says campaigner Craig Bennett.
Friends of the Earth is calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to use his speech at the Clean Energy Ministerial summit in London this week to pledge a move away the UK’s reliance on fossil fuel generated power from the Big Six energy companies.
The organisation is releasing the poll to mark the launch of a new campaign, Clean British Energy, which is being backed by Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden.
“Gas, coal and nuclear are the technologies of the past. Our country has the skills and the talent to be world-beaters in the renewable energy technologies of right now,” she says. “Friends of the Earth’s Clean British Energy campaign would switch the UK to home-grown clean power – we can’t afford not to.”
Meanwhile, another YouGov survey, this time commissioned by Scottish Renewables, indicates that 71% of the Scottish public support wind power as part of the region’s energy mix.
The Scottish Government has set a goal of 100% renewable electricity, but has met with high-profile opposition from US billionaire Donald Trump over plans for a £150 million wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast, which he assets will spoil the view from his favourite golf course.
The businessman is due to appear before the Scottish Parliament this week at the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee inquiry into renewable energy targets this week.
But according to the YouGov poll of 1041 Scottish adults, just 7% agree with Trump and strongly disagree with the continuing development of wind power in the region.
“This lays to rest once and for all the idea that people of Scotland do not support wind power,” says Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables. “This goes to show just how out of touch Donald Trump and his allies are. The facts speak for themselves and we hope the committee will listen to the majority of Scots who have made their opinions very clear on the matter.”
WWF Scotland also “strongly disagrees” with Trump’s position on wind power, with director Richard Dixon commenting:
“We hope that Donald Trump reads this poll… [his] showbiz bluster shouldn’t be allowed to distract us from getting on with using the huge energy resources of wind, waves and tides that Scotland has been blessed with.”
For further information:
UK politicians out of step with public over wind farms (20-Apr)
Wind industry signs up to charter to keep UK top (10-Apr)
Scotland beats 2011 renewable energy target (2-Apr)
UK government reiterates support for wind power (28-Feb)
23 April 2012