Energy Bill: poll shows public ‘proud’ to vote for MPs backing onshore wind
Three quarters (76%) of the public said they themselves would support new onshore wind in their local area
By George Smeetoninfo@eciu.net
Information on this page correct as of:
Ahead of the Government’s Energy Bill being debated in Parliament next week, new polling from YouGov for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) show 60% of people would be ‘proud’ if their local MP backed a new onshore wind in their area. Only 10% said they would be ‘embarrassed’ .
Three quarters (76%) of the public said they themselves would support new onshore wind in their local area, including a similar proportion (71%) of Conservative voters at the last election.
In December 2022, the Government committed to overturn the effective ban that has been in place on onshore wind in the UK. So far, the Government has launched a consultation into how it might determine ‘local consent’. That consultation closed on 7th July, but the Government are yet to produce its conclusions ten months after having made its commitment.
Previous polling from YouGov for ECIU has shown MPs to be out of touch with their constituents on onshore wind with almost half (47%) thinking they would oppose it in their area when, in reality, around three quarters would support it .
In October 2022 an ECIU/YouGov poll showed 77% support for onshore wind . Now, almost a year later, the results have shown consistent high support for both onshore wind and solar.
Sir Alok Sharma COP26 President and MP for Reading West who has tabled an amendment to the Energy Bill that would lift restrictions on onshore wind development said:
“The government committed to change planning rules by the end of April 2023 to overturn the de facto ban on onshore wind but this has not happened to date.
The onshore wind amendment therefore seeks merely to deliver on the government’s own promise and help to unlock investment in one of the cheapest forms of energy and ultimately bring down household bills and improve the UK’s energy security.”
Alasdair Johnstone from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit said:
“The British public have consistently shown support for onshore wind, which, with every swoosh of a wind turbine, reduces our reliance on gas that has largely driven the cost of living and energy bill crises.
NIMBYs could end up costing the UK billions if the effective ban remains on an energy source that is both cheap and popular. With energy security a key area for the Government, building more British renewables can insulate households from volatile gas prices for good.
The polling also found that more than half (54%) of Conservative voters at the last election would be ‘proud’ of their MP supporting a local wind farm.
More than half of people (58%) would be more embarrassed if their MP were to campaign against new solar farm being built compared to 14% proud. Four-fifths of people (80%) said they would support a new solar park in their area.
Notes to editors:
 All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,020 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th - 28th August 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
For more information, please contact: George Smeeton, Head of Communications, email: george.smeeton.eciu.net, tel: 07894 571153