A study conducted for the Guardian by Harris Interactive shows that wind power is the most popular source of energy in the UK. Approximately 2,000 respondents from various income and political backgrounds answered the survey in April 2014.
A total of 48% of respondents said they would welcome a wind turbine development within 5 miles of their home, while only 20% said the same for a coal-powered station and 27% for a nuclear station in the area. Of the various types of power ‘fracking’ had the least amount of support, with only 19% of respondents saying that the development of this technology “would receive a positive local reception”.
When looking at respondents by their political preferences, we can see a bit of a difference between Conservative and Liberals when it comes to backing onshore wind turbine development, with 39% and 56% respectively. It is no secret that the Conservative party is not a big supporter of wind, and they plan to drop all subsidies for new onshore wind power if elected majority in 2015.
Eric Pickles, who is a Conservative party member and is the current Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has stated “current planning decisions on onshore wind are not always reflecting a locally-led planning system”. He has interfered with power planning appeals , and believes developers should give greater weight to local concerns for wind power projects. According to government data, rejections of wind power projects has risen from 25-29% in 2009-12 to 41% in 2013.
The majority of respondents (81%) are more concerned with the rising cost of energy than they are with cutting carbon emissions (52%). A total of 71% of respondents believed UK power prices to be unreasonable, even though they are among the cheapest in Europe.
To read all results of the study, you can visit the Guardian’s article on their website titled ‘Wind power most popular source of energy in UK’.