Research from climate charity Possible has indicated that nearly half of people intending to vote Conservative want more renewable projects like onshore wind and solar to tackle energy costs.
58% of people polled who intend to vote Conservative wanted to see capacity for both onshore wind and solar increased across the UK in a bid to tackle the ongoing energy crisis. In addition to tackling energy bills, this could also support the UK’s decarbonisation goals.
This may come as a surprise due to the increasing scrutiny the Conservative Party has received in recent months namely due to the windfall tax, which had been introduced on all electricity generators despite calls to increase this taxation on oil and gas giants. Labour has also been supportive of clean energy and last year announced plans to turn the UK into a “clean energy superpower”.
Adding further fuel to the fire, the Conservatives, under former Prime Minister Liz Truss, also outlined its intention to controversially lift the moratorium on fracking and reopen gas store facilities – plans that had been condemned by the energy industry. Current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak then reimposed the ban on fracking in a U-turn for the government.
This move will have appeased many members of the public with Possible’s polling having shown that only 20% of people wanted to see gas storage facilities reopened, and just 15% backed fracking. This showcases a clear desire to move away from fossil fuels towards cleaner sources of energy to tackle high energy costs.
The poll also revealed that 77% of the public believe the government should take the public’s views on how energy is generated into account when deciding which types of energy project are allowed, and 75% agreed that the cost of energy should be a factor in the decision on whether to allow new onshore wind.
“It’s March but most of us are still reaching for our blankets and hot water bottles. So it’s little surprise that bringing down bills remains a top priority for the public. One of the quickest ways to bring down the cost of energy would be to lift the ban on onshore wind, a source of power that was up to nine times cheaper than gas power last year,” said Alethea Warrington, senior campaigner at climate charity Possible.
“As the chancellor prepares his Budget [which has since been released], he should listen to the public calling for more support on household bills, and his own voters who know that renewables are the key to cleaner, cheaper energy, not funnelling billions into unproven technologies that lock in our reliance on expensive fossil fuels.”