UK: Majority Backs Financial Support for Wind and Tidal Power
RenewableUK, the trade association representing the wind, wave and tidal industry, has welcomed a new YouGov poll commissioned by the Sunday Times which shows strong backing for financial support for wind and tidal power, with a majority of each of Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP voters saying that the Government should continue incentivising the technologies.
The report comes off the back of a slew of similar polls, including a recent study stating that people were prepared to pay more for renewable energy, and a study by Lord Ashcroft showing very little support for upcoming Private Member’s Bills trying to block wind development.
Overall 65% of people believe that the Government is right to spend money encouraging wind energy technology, with 76% agreeing for tidal power. Comparative figures for other technologies are 40% support for incentivisation for shale gas, 57% for shale gas, and 79% for solar.
Support is consistent across the political spectrum with the strongest support from Liberal Democrat voters at 79% for wind and 91% for tidal, but even a majority of UKIP voters call for financial support for wind at 51% and three quarters (76%) of those planning to vote for UKIP asking for Government to provide financial support for tidal power.
Jennifer Webber, RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs said:
“Poll after poll shows that voters value low carbon technologies such as wind and tidal power. This latest poll shows that there’s not a single age group or voting demographic where a majority of people don’t want financial support for wind. It’s clear that for politicians, whether they’re UKIP, Conservative, Liberal Democrat or Labour that further development of our natural wind and marine resources is the way to go.
“With a recent study from Cardiff University showing that over 80% of people are worried about becoming overly dependent on energy from other countries, it’s important that confidence is retained for domestic low carbon producers. Wind provided enough power for the equivalent of 4.5 million homes last year and needs to play an increasing role in our electricity provision. If we press strongly on, as supporters of all political parties are urging, we can also build on our offshore and marine supply chain to create tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade”.
Press release, August 5, 2013; Image: dhi