New research has revealed the public’s attitude towards newer forms of power generation and energy security. According to the latest statistics, support for the renewable energy sector continues to grow, while attitudes towards fracking and energy security were mixed.
The government figures, which were published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, showed that support for the renewable energy industry has risen to 81%.
The Public Attitudes Tracking survey also highlighted how the vast majority of people felt that renewable energy projects should deliver benefits to their local communities and how renewable energy was aiding the economy.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, said:
“It’s great that the British public sees how renewable energy is helping to grow the UK economy. Renewables are delivering investment and jobs throughout our country”.
The same survey demonstrated continued public support for offshore wind power, and with numerous wind farm schemes underway, including the ambitious Hornsea Project One, this form of energy is set to play a much greater part in the UK’s future energy production.
The government survey showed that support for nuclear energy remained consistent with 38% in favour of it, and almost 50% of people viewed nuclear energy as a reliable form of power.
If EDF’s plans for the Hinkley Point plant, goes ahead, and with proposals for mini nuclear power stations advancing, nuclear power is likely provide a key role in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions in the future.
The extraction of shale gas from the ground – or fracking – has always been a controversial issue, and the government figures highlighted mixed views on shale gas extraction. However, the majority of people who stated they were against it said so because they didn’t know enough about the practice.
Despite public concern, the government has stated it is committed to fracking. There are numerous projects in place around the UK already, and further support is being offered to increase investment in shale gas.
The future of energy security
With a need to find affordable, cleaner sources of power generation, the future of energy security has never been far from the news, and these concerns were also reflected in the government survey. The research showed the majority of people felt there isn’t enough money being invested in finding alternative means of energy and many were concerned over our reliance on gas and oil exports.
Low reserves in the North Sea means more than half of the UK’s gas and electricity is now imported and this has led to calls from industry bosses to do more to encourage exploration in the UK.