The UK public believes that subsidies for wind power are over 14 times more than the amount they are in reality, a poll commissioned by trade body RenewableUK found.
The poll, conducted by OnePoll, questioned 2,000 UK adults on their opinions of wind energy and how it affects their bills.
Respondents on average believed that wind subsides account for £259 of a typical £1,300 annual domestic dual-fuel energy bill. The figure is far higher than the £18 per household it actually costs to subsidies the wind industry.
RenewableUK chief executive, Maria McCaffery commented, “These independent polls show there are considerable misconceptions about the cost of supporting wind energy – it’s much lower than people think, at just 35p a week per household.”
Support for wind energy has been growing, with the energy source enjoying a consistently high popularity rating of 70%. However, despite this, the latest poll shows that the public underestimates the support, believing approval ratings are around 40%.
McCaffery added, “Its also revealing to see that wind has almost double the amount of public support than was estimated.
“This suggests that the loud voices of a small minority, too-often perpetrated by negative rhetoric in some parts of the media, are trying to distort the facts. The truth is that the vast majority of the British population – 70% – are pro-wind power.”
The findings also indicated that the public perception of the reliability of wind energy is askew. Nine out of ten participants underestimated the reliability of the renewable energy source, with two thirds thinking wind turbines generate energy less than half of the time. The reality is that turbines work between 70% and 85% of the time.
Additionally, 75% of the population overestimated how much wind is needed for wind turbines to work, believing its takes winds of at least 14 mile per hour. In fact it takes a wind speeds of just seven miles per hour to generate electricity.
RenewableUK points out that wind is playing an increasingly important role in the UK’s energy mix, with onshore and offshore wind providing almost 10% of the UK’s electricity supply last year.
“The more that people become aware of facts like this, the more they tend to support wind energy as one of our most important power sources,” McCaffery added.
Photo: Attilio Lombardo via Freeimages