Poll: the British public wants more solar power

A recent YouGov poll conducted for the Sunday Times has revealed that the British public strongly support the implementation of renewable technology in order to meet the country’s future energy requirements.

The online poll questioned 1,696 people about what technology should be used for the country’s future energy provision.

Almost three-quarters of those questioned (74 percent) believe that the Government should be looking to use more solar power to meet the nation’s future energy requirements.

Solar was the overwhelming favourite technology choice for future energy provision amongst those surveyed. Wind power was the second most popular technology, with 56 percent of respondents indicating that they would like to see more wind farms commissioned.

Nuclear energy – which Government appears to be favouring in a bid to fill a quarter of the nation’s generating capacity set to be lost by the end of the decade – received just 36 percent support from the British public. Fossil fuel generation technologies lagged behind in the poll, with support for coal standing at 16 percent and oil just 10 percent.

When respondents were questioned on whether they support the subsidisation of wind power, 60 percent indicated that they think the Government is right to subsidise wind farms to encourage greater uptake of the technology.

Interestingly, 60 percent of respondents classed as social grade C2DE (representing skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers, state pensioners, casual or lowest grade workers, the unemployed and those on state benefits) supported the subsidisation of wind power, contradicting the much touted argument that those worse off are being forced to foot the bill for renewable technology.

The poll did not ask about the subsidisation of solar power; however it can be deduced that since 18 percent more of the respondents supported solar as opposed to wind, a large number would likely vote in favour.

Howard Johns, Chairman of the STA commented: "Now we know three quarters of the public want to see more solar power. That's not a surprise because everyday people get how empowering and exciting this technology is. Central government needs to catch up and take immediate steps to secure our industry.  The public want to see more solar power, but politicians have signed off proposals to deliver a lot less."

The survey results will reassure those in the solar industry that the wider public support the implementation of solar technology to support the future of Britain.

The full survey results can be found here.