Half UK voters support renewable energy as ‘top priority’

Nearly half the British public believe investing in renewables is the top priority for energy security, according to a new poll.

Nearly half the British public believe investing in renewables is the top priority for energy security, according to a new poll.

Perhaps more surprisingly, the view is reflected by voters across the four largest parties – including UKIP.

Almost half (48 per cent) of those surveyed picked investing in renewables as their number one energy priority, far ahead of building new nuclear reactors, which came in second at a distant 15 per cent. Support for fracking trails fourth at 13 per cent, after ‘reducing consumption’. 

Fracking was even less popular in the forty most marginal Tory/Labour seats, with just 8 per cent seeing it as the most important energy priority – a worrying finding for pro-fracking incumbents.

Just 2 per cent of UKIP supporters think that reducing the number of future onshore wind-farms should the government’s main priority, while 37 per cent believe that investing in renewables is the most important energy need.

Securing our energy supplies was seen as a top five priority for the majority of voters, with 53 per cent ranking it an urgent issue.

Commenting on the poll, RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said:

“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. 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.”

The ComRes poll for RenewableUK follows a study last week which showed that politicians opposing wind development are a ‘turn off’ for voters.

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63 Responses to “Half UK voters support renewable energy as ‘top priority’”

  1. itdoesntaddup

    Hint: I worked for UKAEA in the past. You’re just utterly incapable of accepting simple truths. I’ve wasted enough time debunking your lies here.

  2. Cole

    Where does that figure come from?

  3. Leon Wolfeson

    You keep talking about how you’ve debunked the truth, as you make unbelieveable claims, and saying I must accept coal and gas are brilliant.

    This is why I support a proper lobbyist register.

  4. Leon Wolfeson

    Those are not DOI’s. But never mind…let’s se…

    You have not addressed any of my actual concerns, at all, of course. Let’s quote the relevant part from one’s conclusion;

    “Based on the results of this and previous studies (Osborn et al., 2011a and Warner et al., 2012),
    it is concluded that systematic monitoring of multiple geochemical and
    isotopic tracers is necessary for assessing possible groundwater
    contamination in areas associated with shale gas exploration as well as
    the possible hydraulic connectivity between shallow aquifers and deeper
    production zones.”

    In other words, serious monitoring is needed, and as it is not currently required here and hence opposing fracking is necessary on those grounds alone.

    You’re also completely unaware, for instance, that the problem with water usage in gas drilling in the UK is not that it consumes slightly more water, but that we have regional water monopolies and higher usage by industry in some areas could cause serious problems for domestic pricing, even when the overall usage is not massively significant.

  5. Cole

    How does having an account with Good Energy (for instance) contribute to the rising bills of the poor? They pretty expensive, but their energy is all renewable.

  6. itdoesntaddup

    when a shale gas firm starts making
    taxable profits from selling gas, it will be taxed at 30 per cent rather
    than the usual 62 per cent. The allowance lasts until such a time as their
    taxable profits equal 75 per cent of money spent developing project.

    So for a project costing £100 million, a company would be eligible for the
    reduced rate for their first £75m of taxable profits – saving them £24m.

    They are already also eligible for full tax relief on capital expenditure,
    which reduces their taxable profits.

    Treasury documents show the tax breaks would cost £5m in 2016-17, rising to
    £20m a year for 2017-18 and 2018-19.

    This cost would be due to companies reducing their existing tax liability, by
    claiming relief for the capital costs of the new shale gas projects that
    would now go ahead thanks to the tax breaks.

    Further into the future, when the new shale gas projects were up and running,
    the Treasury would see a benefit, however as “additional production and
    profits which would arise from successful onshore developments would be
    expected to increase Exchequer yield”.


    CT rates:


  7. Leon Wolfeson

    The way the system in the UK currently works, renewable energy is funded off the back of the poor’s power bills. It’s an absolutely idiotic system. There are ways to partly mitigate that, but we don’t have it. (There’s no way round that with the current system either, unless you’re not connecting to the grid at all)

    And all renewable power needs gas backing, and those gas plants run at about 10% to allow rapid ramping. Even if Good Energy are not running them themselves, that’s both necessary and something which should be priced into renewable energy costs.

  8. Dakiro

    I am for research into new nuclear reactors for the next 30 years’ future and building new ones for the near future. Face it – renewables are great and we should use them but only renewables mean higher dependance on gas and coal. Both gas and coal mean lots of deaths far away and even more closer to home but disguised as accidents with gas explosions and hidden behind the slow effects of particulates and gasses poisoning us from coal plants.

  9. Dakiro

    I would add something, but you said it all.

  10. Dakiro

    No lies were spoken by mr Wolfeson, thus not lies could be debunked.

  11. Cole

    Yes, I understand all about the tax breaks Osborne is giving his mates. Very nice to have your tax halved.

    I was asking about your figures on subsidies for offshore wind.

  12. itdoesntaddup

    Coal with GCV of 7MWh/tonne costs $80/tonne CIF or £50/tonne (less currently). An an ungenerous 33% efficiency for older plant that’s £150/7 or £21.15/MWh, plus about £5/MWh for other O&M costs, compared with offshore wind CFD at £155/MWh.

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