British voters from all four major parties think investing in renewable energy should be the government’s top priority for maintaining energy security, according to a new poll.
The online survey, conducted by ComRes and commissioned by the clean energy trade body RenewableUK, found that overall 48% of respondents think renewables should be the government’s first choice.
The second most popular option of building new nuclear reactors only came in at 15%. Fracking, seemingly one of the government’s preferred options, came fourth with 13%. Improved energy efficiency came third.
Support for renewables was even stronger in marginal seats, rising to 50%
This survey is only the latest in a series that have demonstrated strong public support for all forms of renewable energy. Polls have also revealed growing concern over the government’s ambitions to welcome the fracking industry to British shores.
Yet, this comes at a time when business and industry leaders warn that government policies are threatening the growth of the renewable sector. The Conservative party has controversially promised to halt the development of new onshore wind farms if it wins the 2015 general election.
Significantly, even supporters of UKIP – a party whose energy policy document casts doubt on climate change and promises to scrap all support for renewables – say clean energy is a priority.
“This poll shows that the public want to tackle our energy security crisis by investing in renewables like wind, wave and tidal power and offsetting the need to import volatile and dirty fossil fuels from insecure parts of the world,” said RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery.
“Onshore wind, as the cheapest low carbon electricity source, is a crucial component of that so it’s no wonder that the electorate will reject parties that rule out its future use.”
Photo: NHD-INFO via Flickr