A new ICM opinion poll in the UK has shown that the public are in fact against the Chancellor George Osborne’s ‘dash for gas’ policy.
When asked if they would prefer a wind turbine or a shale gas well within two miles of their home, 67% of people said they would chose the turbine, compared to just 11% who said they would give their support to a shale gas plant.
Paul Monaghan, the head of social goals at the Co-operative (who commissioned the ICM poll), said that “this ICM poll puts to the sword the myth that the public are set against onshore wind and wish to rush into a second dash for gas.”
Actually the report states that only nuclear power and coal are less popular than shale gas.
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The poll showed that if the wind project were privately owned, then only 49% of people would support it, and 22% would actually oppose it, whereas this support increased to 68%, and opposition fell to just 7% if the wind turbines were to be community-owned.
John Hayes, the new energy minister, told the Guardian that “appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play, but if we're to make this work in a way that garners popular support, we've got to see a big improvement in how developers engage with local communities, new ways of ensuring a sense of local ownership and more obvious local economic benefits.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com