Scots Still Favour Renewables Over Fossil Fuels And Nuclear

Renewable energy in ScotlandTurbine Image: BigStock

Results from a recent survey in Scotland indicate a majority of Scots believe the next government should prioritise renewable energy.

A Scottish Renewables commissioned YouGov survey polled more than 1,000 people on their thoughts as to whether the next government should prioritise ongoing development of renewables, extend the life of fossil fuel power generation plants, utilise shale gas or build new nuclear power stations.

Results show 70% want to see boosted levels of renewable energy and 42% said the government should * not* prioritise constructing new or extending the service life of fossil fuel based power generations stations. 33% supported the prioritising of new nuclear power plants.

“Just months after the Paris climate change agreement, the poll also shows clear support for Scotland’s next government to prioritise policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables.

With regard to preferences for their own electricity sources, hydro was the most favoured (27%), followed by wind (18%), solar power (15%) and nuclear (13%). Fossil fuel based power from coal and gas garnered little support – just 3%.

Also in regard to wind power, 62% of the 1,000 polled said they would support large scale wind farm projects in their local area.

While residential solar uptake in Scotland is still reasonably low compared to countries such as Australia, more than a third of survey respondents said they would consider solar panels and 20% were interested in wind turbines or biomass boilers.

Interest has been turning into action – Scotland’s solar capacity jumped 28% in 2015; with much of that increase attributable to home solar power systems.

Mr. Stuart said Scottish Renewables would continue its efforts relating to the country’s feed-in tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive to ensure that small scale renewables remain a viable investment.

Overall, renewable energy is the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland and the country is a net electricity exporter. Scotland appears on track to reach its target of 100% renewable electricity generation (gross consumption) by 2020.

Scotland’s next election is in May.

The full results of the YouGov survey can be viewed here (PDF).