More than three quarters of people in the UK back building new wind and solar farms to tackle the energy crisis.
Polling commissioned by RenewableUK shows overwhelming support for green energy technology, with 76% of respondents in favour of building projects in their local area.
Backing is even higher among Conservative voters, with 84% of those who voted for the Tories at the last election urging the government to use new wind and solar farms to cut bills.
Moreover, the 100 constituencies where support for offshore wind, onshore wind, solar and tidal power is strongest are predominantly Conservative.
RenewableUK claims the study, carried out by Survation, shows the Tories risk shedding support if they fail to back new green energy schemes.
Some 64% of 2019 Conservative voters think Liz Truss, who formally took up the mantle of PM yesterday, should end the current block on onshore wind in England.
In contrast, only 16% think it should remain, and there is no majority in favour of the current block in any constituency in Britain.
Claire Mack, chief executive of trade body Scottish Renewables, said: “We welcome this polling data that confirms the vast majority of people in the UK agree that wind and solar farms must play a key role in the shift from expensive gas to low-cost renewable solutions.
“Scotland’s renewable energy industry is worth £5.6 billion a year in GVA to Scotland, as well as employing more than 22,000 people. Building more renewable energy projects will not only tackle the cost of energy crisis we currently face but will secure economic success, create new green jobs, continue to cut the carbon emissions which cause climate change and underpin a Scottish green recovery in the long-term.”
Critically for the incoming Government, 68% of the public polled want the new Conservative party leader to increase or maintain investment in renewables.
And more than a third said they would be less favourable to the Tories if the new leader weakens the UK’s climate change policies.
Jacob-Rees Mogg was announced as the UK’s new business secretary last night, eading many to point to his past scepticism towards renewables.
Individually, each green technology enjoys high levels of public support, with 81% of people in favour of solar, 76% backing offshore wind, 74% in support of onshore wind and 72% behind tidal and wave power.
RenewableUK’s chief executive Dan McGrail said: “These findings are wake-up call to every politician, including the new Prime Minister, that the overwhelming majority of people want to see new investment in renewables and are happy to see new wind and solar farms built in their local area to drive energy bills down. At a time when we need to shift from expensive gas to low-cost renewables as rapidly as possible, most people agree that if local communities support having a wind farm nearby, the Government shouldn’t stand in their way.
“We’re keen to work with the new Prime Minister Liz Truss to slash energy bills by building more renewable energy projects faster, which means bringing in a planning system which reflects the widespread public support for these technologies, and setting ambitious targets for clean energy in each of their annual power auctions over the course of this decade. That will also help us to maximise jobs and attract billions in private investment.”