Solar Energy UK
28 July 2022
Polling released today demonstrates overwhelming support for solar farms, home insulation incentives and other efforts to secure net zero among Conservative Party members.
Conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit over 12-13 July, the survey found that almost three quarters (73%) back solar power, including ground-mounted solar farms
A similar 71% of party members supported new onshore and offshore wind energy, with 85% advocating home energy efficiency measures, including investment and incentives for home insulation.
“The survey results reinforce evidence that the public are in favour of solar farms, contrary to what we hear from some members of parliament and from other organisations,” said Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of the trade association Solar Energy UK. “New solar power is cheap, subsidy-free, quick to install and expanding rapidly. It’s helping to cut reliance on eye-wateringly expensive gas, lower bills and bolster the UK’s energy security too,” he added.
Support for green measures to cut bills was stronger among advocates of Rishi Sunak to be the next Prime Minister than those favouring Liz Truss. A total of 82% of Sunak supporters endorsed “a new generation of solar energy” – meaning building both solar farms and installing roof-mounted solar panels – while 71% of Truss supporters did.
The candidates backed by members most opposed to green energy measures (particularly Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch) were soon knocked out of the race.
Solar farms pose no threat to the UK’s food security, instead providing a reliable source of additional income for the country’s hard-pressed farmers. Even if every single one currently put forward is built, they would account for less than 0.4% of the UK’s agricultural land and 0.28% of the UK’s entire land area – far less than golf courses. Solar farms are also designed to minimise impact on the landscape and can provide either a haven for wildlife or be used to raise grazing livestock.
The survey accords with recent government polling that found the general public has positive views of solar power and solar farms in particular. Asked for their thoughts on the prospect of a solar farm being built in their local area, 81% of respondents said they would be very happy, fairly happy or would not mind. Only 3% were significantly opposed, while 8% felt that a solar farm would not be feasible locally.
Similarly, earlier this year Copper Consultancy found that only a minority of people living near a solar farm oppose such developments in their area – and are over eight times more likely to become more supportive over time than more opposed.
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