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by Liam Kirkaldy
18 March 2015
Support for wind power rises

Support for wind power rises

Support for developing wind energy in Scotland has risen by seven per cent against last year, with 71 per cent of Scots backing the technology.

A survey by YouGov found support was highest among young people, with 81 per cent of 18-24 year olds backing the continued development of wind energy. Support was lowest among those 55 and over, though 65 per cent still approved.

The polling found support was lowest in the south of Scotland, at 64 per cent, and highest in Glasgow and the Lothians, with both regions showing 79 per cent backing the technology.

But while 69 per cent of those with no children supported the technology, backing increased with households with children present. The poll found 73 per cent support in one child households, 81 per cent in those with two and 88 per cent in households with three children.

Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “These poll results highlight once again that not only do the vast majority of Scots support wind power, but the number who do is actually increasing.”

He added: “We are often told by a vocal minority of objectors that Scots don’t like wind power, but this poll shows there is absolutely no evidence to support this – in fact, quite the opposite.”

The Scottish Government welcomed the poll, with Energy Minister Fergus Ewing responding to say, “This independent survey by YouGov shows further support for the development of wind power with a growth of 20 per cent in public support.

“Scottish Government policy on onshore windfarms strikes a careful balance between maximising Scotland's huge green energy potential and protecting some of our finest scenic landscapes – planning authorities help to guide windfarms to the best places and when windfarms don't meet strict planning guidelines they are rejected.”

Meanwhile UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey put the rise in support down to the introduction of the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference, claiming the scheme has reduced household bills by £41 over the period 2014 to 2030 (compared to decarbonising without the changes).

Davey said: “Scotland’s thriving wind power sector is being strongly backed by the people of Scotland. As a United Kingdom, we're building on this together through reforms that are driving up to £100 billion of capital investment, including more onshore and offshore wind projects across Scotland.”

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