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Solar has continued to be the most popular renewable technology with the public as of September 2019, a factor which must be considered by any prospective government the industry has said.

Statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows solar has an 85% approval rate with the public.

The second most popular renewable technology was offshore wind at 81% of people approving the technology, then wave and tidal (80%), onshore wind (78%) and lastly biomass (70%). Biomass reached highest approval since the tracker began, however.

Whilst solar maintained its top spot at 85% approval, it dropped slightly from the 89% recorded in March. Support for the technology has remained between 80% and 89% throughout the tracker’s lifespan.

Chris Hewett, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, said: “Solar’s immense popularity with the public should come as no surprise given its cost-effectiveness, simplicity and reliability, in addition to its capacity to harmonise well with building aesthetics and the enhancement of natural capital on ground-mount sites.

“Those looking to form the next government would do well to consider this when preparing their manifestos.”

Support for renewables as a whole increased slightly to 84% from 82% in June. Support has fluctuated between 74% and 85% since the question was first asked in March 2012.

Opposition to renewable energy hit a record low of 2%, a significant figure as the UK moves closer to a general election where climate change will be centre stage.

Amy MacConnachie, head of external affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, said: “I’m not at all surprised that opposition to renewables has hit an all-time low of 2%. Over the past few months we’ve seen how the climate change movement has mobilised an extraordinary amount of support cutting through geographical, ideological and social economic barriers.

“Now more than ever, parties need to take heed of what the public are telling them and put climate change at the front and centre of their campaigns.

“With the election just over a month away, we hope that all political parties take note of this tracker and reflect the views of industry, independent bodies and the public in their manifesto.”

Solar Power Portal took a detailed look at the green policies unveiled to date by the parties as election campaigning begins.