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UK wind industry hits back with “public support” poll

The UK wind industry has hit back at its critics in Parliament and the press with the publication of a new poll that shows two thirds of the British public are in favour of wind farms.

The research, commissioned by wind and marine trade association RenewableUK, found that 67% of UK adults are in favour of the technology, with only 8% opposed. 28% are “strongly in favour”, while 3% suggested they are “strongly opposed”.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive, RenewableUK, said: “It’s clear that the majority of those surveyed are supportive of energy from wind – strongly indicated from our survey results. It is therefore not only undemocratic to allow the vocal anti-wind minority to derail the UK’s plans for renewable energy, but also damaging to our economy.”

The poll comes after a sustained backlash against wind by some UK newspapers, and backbench MPs who have been calling for financial support for wind power to be slashed. Other groups, such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), and senior figures in heritage organisation the National Trust, have warned that onshore wind turbines could have a negative effect on Britain’s rural landscape.

However, the poll showed that 57% find the look of wind farms on the landscape acceptable and a 20% completely acceptable. At the other end of the scale, 17% said they did not like the visual impact of wind turbines, while 22% said they were neutral.

McCaffery added: “That the majority of people find wind farms ugly has long been a myth propagated by a small minority. This research has shown that a majority find the look of wind farms acceptable. I hope that those who have recently tried to stifle the good support that wind energy has from government listen to this majority view and ask themselves why they are supporting a minority movement.”

Last month RenewableUK launched a three point wind charter to demonstrate the value of the commitment of the wind energy industry to the UK economy and future energy security. Since the launch, the founding 12 signatories have been joined by 58 other companies from the wind energy industry, with the number growing daily, RenewableUK said.

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