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Clear majority of people 'want more wind farms'

23 October 2012

A poll published by YouGov shows that a majority of the British public want more wind farms to be built, with more than half saying the number should be higher than at present.

The survey (commissioned by the Sunday Times) also shows that wind energy has much greater public support than nuclear power and fossil fuels. Only 40 percent of British people want more nuclear, just 17 percent of people want more gas and coal-fired power stations, and 11 percent support more oil.

Less than a third of those questioned (32 percent) supported fracking – fracturing rocks to extract shale gas, which, the survey notes, could risk contaminating ground water as well as causing minor earthquakes (some 30 percent opposed fracking and 38 percent didn't know).

The only source of energy more popular than wind was solar power, with 72 percent in favour. 

Most of the figures tally broadly with those revealed by the same survey carried out a year ago, showing a consistent level of support for renewables.

RenewableUK's Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said the poll was an unequivocal vote of confidence in renewable energy. "A clear majority of British people support building more wind farms to meet our country's clean energy needs," she said. "That support is consistently strong, in this and other independent polls.

"One stark message from this survey is the public's evident disenchantment with fossil fuels, including the unpopularity of fracking for shale gas. The British public is telling us that we are right to be making this landmark transition from a perilous fossil fuel addiction to a low-carbon future".

The YouGov survey (a weighted sample of 1,734 people conducted online  October 18-19 2012) can be read here.

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