71% of Scottish people back wind power, new poll reveals

Reading time: 4 minutes
23 March 2015

LONDON: A new survey by YouGov shows that 71% of Scottish people support further development of wind power in the country’s energy generation mix, a percentage which has increased by 7% in one year.

The poll follows the release of figures about the increasing capacity of onshore wind in Scotland, which is set to reach more than 12 megawatts once the planned wind turbines are completed.

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group, commented: “Scotland has been a longstanding and active member of The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance. Scotland’s renewables commitments are world leading and this survey demonstrates that governments, such as Scotland, who set bold climate targets, have the backing of their local communities and businesses.”

Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables underscored the increasing support for wind power over time among Scottish people: “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.

The wind energy sector is thriving in Scotland, providing jobs, investment and helping to tackle climate change – and these figures show it’s doing all of this with the Scottish public right behind it.”

Last year renewable energy hit a record, becoming Scotland’s largest source of power. In the first half of 2014, the mix of wind, hydro, solar and other clean energies generated 10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh), 32% more electricity than any other source of power in the country.

The wind sector is particularly relevant in the UK, which is still leading the European wind market. In 2014 alone, 6.7 million UK households were powered by wind energy, according to RenewableUk, totaling 28.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) generated.

Scotland has committed to a fast transition to a low carbon economy, setting a target of 30% of the energy it uses coming from renewables by 2020. Its investment in the transition has thus been growing, as Keith Brown, UK cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities underscored: “The estimated market value of sales in Scotland’s low carbon and environmental goods and service sector in 2011 to 2012 was £10.1 billion (US$15 billion),” he said, but it is set to grow by 30% and to account for £13.2 billion (US$19.6 billion) by 2016 to 2017.

The poll was conducted in February 2015, and surveyed a sample of 1,003 Scottish adults.

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by Denise Puca

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