British renewable energy advocacy group RenewableUK says results from a new survey into public attitudes on clean energy is clear evidence the government must do more to develop the nation’s wind, wave and solar resources in response to climate change and a growing reliance on imported energy.
The study, Transforming the UK energy system – public values, attitudes and acceptability, surveyed 2,441 members of the public across England, Wales and Scotland and found a clear majority of respondents favoured moves away from fossil fuel to renewable forms of energy production.
The research was carried out over 30 months in a series of in-depth workshops by a team from Cardiff University and funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
Team leader Professor Nick Pidgeon said the survey was aimed at exploring how Britons will respond to the seismic shifts in energy policy facing the nation in coming years.
“Probably counter to many peoples’ assumptions, respondents wanted to see change. [They] wanted a system that was efficient, clean, fair and safe. In particular, there was a commitment to more renewable energy for the country and lowering demand, either through more efficient devices in the home and industry, or through less use of energy as well,” Professor Pidgeon said.
According to the study, three-quarters of participants were very/fairly concerned about climate change, with 79 percent worried about importation of foreign energy. 79 percent wanted to see a reduction in the burning of fossil fuels, while 81 percent were keen to become more energy efficient.
Support for solar power was strong, at 85 percent, while wind energy remained high at 75 percent.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said:
“Not only does this bring energy security, with wind already providing the equivalent power for 4.59 million homes in the last year alone, but also the potential for tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade – and we should remember that in 2011-2012 wind energy cost each household only just over 3p per day.”