Rapidly rising oil and gas prices, combined with the war in Ukraine, have pushed energy supply security to the top of the Government’s policy agenda – the PM is expected to unveil the UK’s new Energy Strategy this week.
New research published today by Copper Consultancy shows that the public overwhelmingly supports the Government’s move to shore up the country’s security of energy supply, and back the development of onshore wind to support this.
Over 78 per cent of those surveyed believe the UK needs to become more self-sufficient in generating its energy. As well as expressing support for addressing the issue in principle, most people said they want to see a range of renewable technologies prioritised for development.
Contrary to current political thinking, a large section of the public back the mass expansion of onshore wind – 38 per cent favour this. Such support rises to 40 per cent among those who voted for the Conservatives in the 2019 election.
These findings suggest the Government is unlikely to get the level of pushback from its supporters that some ministers and other MPs expect, with the research showing that the majority have become more likely to support proposed energy projects in their local area over the last six months.
The nationally representative polling has revealed that public opinion on the remainder of the Government’s energy priorities is in line with current political rhetoric, as 45 per cent believe offshore wind should be prioritised and 37 per cent support the expansion of large scale solar, with backing for nuclear energy slightly cooler at 24 per cent.
The energy and cost of living crises have inspired a radical policy rethink, as industries previously considered taboo, such as fracking, are apparently back on the table for Ministers. With this increase in policy flexibility, combined with mounting evidence in support of onshore wind, we shouldn’t discount another change of heart from Number 10 before the Energy Strategy is published.
Sam Cranston, Energy Director at Copper, said: “Our research challenges current thinking, showing clear, continued public support for the UK’s move towards renewables, and that consumers want action to address rising prices and provide national security of our energy supply.
“Such public backing should give confidence to developers and the wider industry to continue their sustained drive to meet the Government’s 2050 net zero target”
Contact Sam Cranston for further information.