Vast majority of MPs in the dark about onshore wind costs

The overwhelming majority of British MPs are unaware that onshore wind farms are now the cheapest way to add new electricity generating capacity in the UK, a YouGov survey has found.

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The findings show that just 8% of MPs are aware of this fact, compared with the 12% that believe large nuclear power stations like Hinkley Point C provide the cheapest new capacity.

It was also found that more than half believe there is strong opposition among at least one-fifth of population for onshore wind, when the actual figure is closer to 2%.

“It’s somewhat alarming to find that MPs don’t know the facts on onshore wind, particularly how popular it is with the public,” said Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, which commissioned the polling.

“The myth that onshore wind is unpopular or divisive should now be put to bed once and for all – it’s a damaging myth, because investing in onshore wind is likely to reduce energy bills.”

This comes after a separate YouGov poll for RenewableUK found that two-thirds of people believe the government should change its current policy of excluding onshore wind farms from the energy mix.

Just 15% of the population oppose a change, with support at around 61% among Conservative votes, and at 65% for those living in rural areas.

When asked which type of development they would favour most in their local area, the most popular choice was an onshore wind farm, beating a new railway line, housing development, and a nuclear power station.

It was also found that 60%of people under the age of 40 don’t think the government is doing enough to tackle climate change, with 75% of these saying ministers should prioritise investment in renewable energy.

RenewableUK executive director, Emma Pinchbeck, said: “The government’s policy is massively out of step with public opinion, including the views of Conservative voters.

“Whether it’s the over-65s, people in rural communities or younger voters who want action on climate change, abandoning the onshore wind ban is popular across the board.”

 

Image credit: iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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