UK public backs wind as opposition body launches

UK: Two-thirds of the British public favour of wind farms and less than 10% oppose them, according to a poll carried out on behalf of trade body RenewableUK.

The poll coincides with the launch today of a new national anti-wind body in the UK, National Opposition to Wind farms (NOW).

As well as revealing majority support for wind farms, the poll also found that 57% of the UK public find wind farms’ impact on the landscape "acceptable". Only 17% said they did not find the visual impact of wind turbines acceptable.

RenewableUK said that poll undermined the claims made by the UK’s "small but vocal" anti-wind energy lobby.

"Wind is an abundant, clean, secure and affordable energy source. 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, undermining investment and jobs that will help to rebuild communities across the country and put the UK on a path to future economic prosperity," said chief executive Maria McCaffery.

Among its claims, NOW maintains that wind turbines despoil landscapes, affect wildlife and are an unreliable source of energy.

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 that threatens the jobs and investment that the wind energy industry is bringing to the United Kingdom."