Public favours community-owned wind turbines

The majority of people in the UK support community-owned wind energy projects and favour wind turbines over most non-renewable developments, according to a nationwide poll

The ICM poll, published in October 2012, showed that 68% of people would support a community-owned wind turbine within two miles of their home, with only 7% against. Without community ownership, 49% would support an installation and 22% would oppose it.

Currently 10% of the UK’s renewable energy is community-owned.

The survey also compared support for wind with non-renewable energy sources. Nuclear was the least popular power source, followed by coal.

Support for new shale gas developments was also low, with 67% of those surveyed preferring a wind turbine near their home to a shale gas well. Just 11% said they would favour shale gas, which uses fracking in its extraction – a process heavily criticised by environmental groups as dangerous and damaging.

The results come at a time of increasing tensions within the government over windfarms and green policy, and could prove worrying for the coalition, as gas expansion and increasing the appeal of nuclear power are both key parts of its energy policy.

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