The Power of Public Opinion

In 1971, John Lennon advocated “Power to the People.”

Today, it’s far more likely to be clean power to the people of the UK.

According to the UK’s Public Attitudes Tracker (PAT), a government-administered survey measuring public opinions on energy and related issues, up to 85 percent of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland residents support renewable energy initiatives – among the highest approval ratings in the world.

And that support is both broad-based and growing. From a source standpoint, solar led all other technologies with an 87 percent-positive perception, followed by offshore wind generation at 83 percent, tidal energy at 81 percent and onshore (i.e., land-based) wind power at 76 percent.

Biomass energy, derived from the clean-burning of animal waste, municipal solid waste (MSW) and other organic fuels trailed at 69 percent.

What’s noteworthy about the UK’s latest PAT results is that while positive attitudes for renewables continue to expand, public approval for large-scale renewable projects in the UK grew at twice that rate – meaning residents see renewables as an immediate solution providing local economic and environmental benefits.

Clearly, UK residents want renewable energy – not as a trendy energy choice but as an immediate way to positively position their local communities for the future. 

That’s food for thought for utility companies and renewable energy providers in the UK and beyond as they look to sway public opinion to meet future global energy needs.

Never underestimate the power of public opinion.

Leslie Gomez