An opinion poll has found that two-thirds of people in Britain think the Government should change its current policy which effectively excludes new onshore wind farms from the energy mix.

According to the YouGov poll, 66% say they would support a change in Government policy so that onshore wind farms can be built in places where they have local backing, to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and tackle climate change.

Support for the move is high among Conservative voters, 61% of whom say the exclusion of onshore wind should end - 65% of people in rural areas agree. Just 15% of people oppose the change.

There is also strong local support for building onshore wind farms over other infrastructure options. When asked which type of development they would favour most in their local area, the most popular choice was an onshore wind farm (23% - and higher in rural areas at 26%), beating a new railway line (22%), housing development (17%), a dual carriageway (16%), a fracking site (4%) and a nuclear power station (2%).

Climate change action

The poll also show a high level of support among younger people for action on climate change; 60% of people aged under 40 said the Government is not doing enough on this issue. Among this group, 75% said Ministers should prioritise increasing investment in renewable energy to tackle the problem.

RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “The Government’s policy is massively out of step with public opinion, including the views of Conservative voters. Whether it’s the over-65s, people in rural communities or younger voters who want action on climate change, abandoning the onshore wind ban is popular across the board.

“Onshore wind is the UK’s cheapest new power source, bar none, and excluding it from the market means we’ll have to rely on more expensive technologies to meet our future power needs. It’s difficult for voters to square why the Government is bringing in laws to cap energy bills on the one hand, while choosing to further push up costs for billpayers by blocking cheap, new wind power on the other”.

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