MPs who called for an end to onshore wind farms are “out of step” with their own constituents’ views, according to a new poll. Three years ago 79 Conservative parliamentarians signed an open letter in which they called for a block on new onshore developments in England. After their election victory, the government changed planning rules and barred onshore wind developers from competing for subsidies – which amounted to an effective ban for the technology. However, new polling conducted for green campaign group 10:10 Climate Action, suggests their constituents largely disagree with them. Nearly three quarters of people across their constituencies supported onshore wind and nearly the same proportion said they would be happy to live within five miles of turbines. Only six per cent would actively oppose developments, contradicting the government’s assertion that communities in England do not want new wind turbines in their vicinity. Most people were unaware that new developments had been blocked, with only 12 per cent aware of the measures the government has introduced. The findings were revealed after another poll commissioned by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit from YouGov showed that just eight per cent of MPs know that onshore wind farms are now the cheapest way to add electricity generating capacity in the UK. The same poll found that MPs consistently overestimate opposition to onshore wind. While government figures show just two per cent of the population “strongly” opposes the technology, half of polled MPs thought the proportion of the population was closer to a fifth or 20 per cent.
Independent 5th Aug 2018 read more »