Public support for renewables hits record high as clean transition powers forward
30th April 2018 | Residential Energy
Public support for renewables in the UK has hit record high levels while fracking remains unpopular. The news comes in the same weeks that the country has its longest coal-free period of power generation in modern history.
A staggering 85 percent of people in the UK support renewable energy, with just three percent opposed to it, according to data published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) in its quarterly public attitudes tracker. This is the highest level of support since the tracker began in July 2012, and the joint-lowest figure for people against. The number of people who “strongly support” the use of renewables also hit a record high of 37 percent.
Support was highest for solar generation with 87 percent of people in favour of it, ahead of offshore wind (83 percent), wave and tidal (81 percent), and onshore wind (76 percent) – with all being record highs since the first tracker in 2012. No renewable technology had a disapproval level above the eight percent against onshore wind.
The release of the data coincides with the UK power generation being coal-free for a record 76 hours across 21 April to 24 April, setting a new record. This came only a week after the UK had 54 coal-free hours – itself a new record at the time. A shorter but equally impressive 40 hours of coal-free electricity generation was also recorded across 25-26 April.
Unseasonably warm temperatures this month pushed down demand for heating, which in turn lowered electricity demand. And the sunny and windy weather saw electricity from wind and solar providing over 30 percent of electricity in the 21-24 April coal-free period.
The trend is set to continue heading in to the summer. System operator National Grid expects electricity production from renewables through the summer months to significantly reduce both gas and coal fired power generation.
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