I was struck by two things in a recent report by RenewableUK (a trade body) which said this:
"66% of respondents to a new poll of 3,609 adults said they would like to see onshore wind farms built where it has local support; only 15% opposed the proposal."
I wanted much more detail, thinking of the nuance available when Esther Pigeon presented an exotic ices market survey report to Reggie Perrin:
"71% of housewives in East Lancashire and 81% in Hertfordshire expressed an interest in the concept of exotic ice-creams. Only 8% in Hertfordshire and 14% in Lancashire expressed positive hostility, whilst 5% expressed latent hostility. In Hertfordshire, 96% of the 50% who formed 20% of consumer spending were in favour. 0.6% told us where we could put our exotic ice creams."
The RenewableUK report added:
"Current policy excludes onshore wind from competing for Government contracts; the Conservative administration has also created hurdles in the planning process to prevent wind farms from going ahead. This runs contrary to public opinion, highlighted by the YouGov poll, which favours onshore wind over other infrastructure options. At 23%, support is higher for wind farms than railway lines (22%), housing (17%), and nuclear power (2%)."
I note that support is higher for wind farms than for railway lines. No doubt it's also higher for prosecco than for cabbage, but so what? And do only 2% of the public really support nuclear power? Have the other 98% no idea of the jam we'd be in if it was to be phased out, German style? Or is it only another emotional knee-jerk preference?
Meanwhile, RenewableUK noted its disappointment that the Government has closed the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) which supports the deployment of small-scale renewables such as solar panels and small wind turbines, with no policy to replace it.