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Major public support for renewable subsidies

Renewable Energy

Most British adults back subsidies for renewable energy, according to a new survey published by the non-profit Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit.  

It says the survey results are directly at odds with the government’s cuts to support for renewables.

A significant 85% of adults surveyed said they supported government subsidies for renewable power such as wind and solar, along with subsidies for programmes which reduce energy waste.

But government changes to renewables subsidies could lead to a 95% drop in investment over the next three years. Some feel the results offer an opportunity to grow Britain’s market share.

“Many new energy technologies need support to get up and running, and Britons clearly want support to continue for these clean technologies,” said the chairman of low carbon enegy body the Energy Transitions Commission Lord Turner.

“Globally, investors are putting more money into building renewables than any other form of power generation. The opportunity now before this government as it develops its industrial strategy is to use Britain’s leadership in technologies such as offshore wind to corner a larger slice of the burgeoning global market.”

Others have highlighted the stalling effects of lower subsidy levels on renewables uptake.

“Not only are renewables in general widely supported by the public, but renewable technologies such as onshore wind and solar are now cost competitive with fossil fuels,” said Renewable Energy Association head of policy and external affairs James Court.

“They represent the best value for money that the government can achieve with its auctions, yet frustratingly new deployment is being blocked.”

Subsidised nuclear and gas power were less popular in the survey, each attracting support from 30% of respondents.

Around a fifth (19%) wanted support for coal while 65% agreed coal use should end, with most choosing wind or solar as a replacement.

New Civil Engineer has contacted the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for comment.


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