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UK Public Supports Renewables, Nuclear Energy

Posted on the 02 May 2014 by Dailyfusion @dailyfusion
Do you support or oppose onshore wind?Do you support or oppose onshore wind? (Credit: UK DECC Public Attitudes
Tracking Survey, Wave 9, 29 April 2014)

In the latest wave of DECC’s Public Attitudes Tracker, 70% of people in the UK said they support the development of onshore wind, the support for nuclear energy has risen from 38% in September 2012 to 42%, while opposition fell in the same period from 27% to 20%.

According to renewableUK, the trade association for wind power, wave power and tidal power industries in the United Kingdom, 70% of people said they support the development of onshore wind—the highest ever figure since DECC’s regular opinion polls began in March 2012. A record-breaking number also support offshore wind, at a new high of 77%. Wave and tidal energy also remains popular at 77%, matching its previous highest levels of support. In contrast, public support for shale gas stands at only 29%.

In addition, people strongly recognize the benefits of renewable energy and believe that the UK should accelerate investment in low-carbon technologies. 70% think renewables bring economic benefits to the UK, compared to 47% for nuclear. 80% are concerned about the UK becoming dependent on energy imports and 75% of people think we are not investing fast enough in alternative energy sources.

In the survey, people ranked energy security and climate change jointly as the fourth biggest challenge facing the UK today—only unemployment, inflation and the NHS scored higher in the list. Tellingly, those polled judged energy and climate change to be more important challenges than education, law and order, taxation, defense and national security.

At the same time, the Nuclear Industry Association, the trade association for the civil nuclear industry in the UK, points out in its press-release that the support for nuclear is on the rise in UK.

Change in level of support for using nuclear energy to generate the UK's electricity

Change in level of support for using nuclear energy to generate the UK’s electricity. (Credit: UK DECC Public Attitudes Tracking Survey, April 2014)

Commenting on the report, Keith Parker, Chief Executive, Nuclear Industry Association said: “The DECC Public Attitudes Tracker Survey further emphasizes the growing support for nuclear in the UK. The survey shows a significant rise in the support for nuclear power generation while opposition is in decline. With the UK on the cusp of an extensive new nuclear build program, public support for nuclear energy generation is crucial and these findings are public recognition of the role nuclear power plays in ensuring the UK has a secure, low-carbon, reliable source of electricity.”

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