There is overwhelming public support in Britain for new wind and solar farms to help tackle the crisis caused by soaring energy costs, according to a poll just out.

The study of more than 6,000 people was commissioned by trade association RenewableUK and carried out by Survation.

Just over three-quarters think the Government should use new wind and solar farms to reduce energy bills, and a similar number support building renewable energy projects in their local area.

Support is even higher among Conservative voters - with 84% of those who backed the Tories at the last election urging the Government to use new wind and solar farms to cut electricity bills, and 81% supporting a renewable energy project in their area.

The 100 constituencies where support for offshore wind, onshore wind, solar and tidal power is strongest are now predominantly Tory.

Just under two-thirds of 2019 Conservative voters think the new Government should end the current block on onshore wind in England where it has local support - a proposal the Government committed to explore in the Energy Security Strategy. In contrast, only 16% think the block should remain. There is no majority in favour of a block in any constituency in England, Scotland or Wales.

More than two-thirds of those polled want new Tory leader Lizz Truss to increase or maintain investment in renewables, compared to just 14% who want to see investment reduced.

High public support

RenewableUK says each type of renewable enjoys very high levels of support among those polled, with 81% in favour of solar energy, 76% of people backing offshore wind, 74% in favour of onshore wind and 72% backing tidal and wave power.

The trade association's chief executive, Dan McGrail, said: "These findings are wake-up call to every politician, including the new Prime Minister, that the overwhelming majority of people want to see new investment in renewables and are happy to see new wind and solar farms built in their local area to drive energy bills down.

"At a time when we need to shift from expensive gas to low-cost renewables as rapidly as possible, most people agree that, if local communities support having a wind farm nearby, the Government shouldn't stand in their way.

"We're keen to work with the new Prime Minister to slash energy bills by building more renewable energy projects faster, which means bringing in a planning system which reflects the widespread public support for these technologies, and setting ambitious targets for clean energy in each of their annual power auctions over the course of this decade. That will also help us to maximise jobs and attract billions in private investment."

Sam Hall, director of independent forum the Conservative Environment Network, added: "This new polling shows that onshore renewables are popular not only with the public but even more so with Conservative voters. Renewables are popular and cheap, cut our reliance on imported fossil fuels, and support UK jobs.

"With new renewables nine times cheaper than gas power, the government should let the market deploy these technologies to ease the energy crisis. It should allow more solar farms to be built on unproductive land. It should also lift the de facto ban on onshore wind in England, provided that local communities consent in the same way that Liz Truss plans to do with fracking."

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