A new survey has revealed that almost two-thirds of Britons would choose to live near a wind farm over a fracking site. The findings have led to the government being accused of ignoring public opinion
The YouGov poll, commissioned by renewable energy firm Ecotricity, found that 62% of participants – if forced to choose – would prefer to have a wind farm in their local council area. In comparison, 19% said they would prefer to live near to a fracking site.
The findings are broadly similar to a government survey looking at attitudes towards the Departments of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) priorities. The latest figures, published in February, found that 27% support shale gas extraction whilst 77% support renewables, including onshore wind.
The findings have led to accusations that the government is ignoring the public’s preference for onshore wind over fracking. The conservatives are reportedly planning to curb onshore wind farms in their next election manifesto. In contrast, the party had already unveiled fracking tax breaks.
Ecotricity has previously accused communities secretary Eric Pickles as having “double standards” on fracking and wind power. The company argues that Pickles prioritises local voices in wind farm planning but fails to do so when it comes to fracking.
Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said, “You have to ask why the government is ignoring the results of its own surveys on both wind energy and fracking – they are actively going against public opinion on both issues.