Of 1696 people who responded to the poll, 56% wanted to see more wind power capacity in the UK while 74% wanted to see solar energy capacity increased. Only 19% of survey respondents wanted to see less emphasis on wind power, which dropped to 12% for solar panels.
The encouraging news comes in the wake of high profile stories in the media criticizing wind farms as being too costly, unsightly and inefficient, not to mention prone to collapsing in very high winds. Proponents of wind farms had feared the images of burning wind turbines would irretrievably damage the reputation of wind energy instead of being considered as one off events, but the poll shows that the popularity of wind turbines is still as string as ever.
Dr Gordon Edge, director of policy at trade body RenewableUK, said: "This poll demonstrates that even in difficult economic times, the public understands why the expansion of wind power is important – to secure jobs, enhance energy security and reduce our reliance on expensive fossil fuels."
When asked about other forms of energy, such as nuclear power and coal and oil-fired power stations, just 10% of survey respondents believed nuclear was the way forward, while just 16% believed fossil fuel powered stations should be expanded. Indeed, around half of the survey respondents thought traditional fossil fuel powered stations should be scaled back considerably.
A Spokesperson for Solar Panels Company, Solar Panels Direct, was pleased that the poll showed such positivity. "At a time when finances are tight and everyone is unsure of the future, the fact that people still give the provision of secure renewable energy a place on their priority list is a great piece of news.
"There are a lot of people who think that the environment should be way down on the agenda behind the economy, but actually renewable energy is an important part of the economy. It’s not just consumers who have benefited from have renewable technologies fitted in the form of free electricity, hot water, and Solar Feed In Tariff payments, but also local businesses who have been able to employ more staff and grow their companies during tough economic times."
The poll comes at a time when environmental campaigners are attempting to stop the government from slashing feed-in tariffs in half, which is predicted would have a negative impact on the economy due to the length of payment putting off potential owners, with job losses and corporate insolvencies as a result.
"The fact that people still value environmental technologies this highly is a good thing and the sentiment expressed by many in the poll may be enough to help mitigate the impact of cutting the feed in tariffs. People will still continue to have technologies fitted, but for environmental, not just financial, reasons," concluded the spokesperson.
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