Public unsure about wind power

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Seventy percent of people in south Evia, an island in central Greece with the country's greatest concentration of wind plant, believe wind energy is an important national resource and 55% approve further installations in the area. On the other hand, 49% find turbines unattractive and 48% think they are noisy. These were some of the results of a survey into the social acceptability of wind plant in south Evia conducted by Emmanuel Ritsatakis, a postgraduate student at the environmental studies department of the University of the Aegean. The study is the most comprehensive public opinion survey carried out in Greece to date, according to the Hellenic Wind Energy Association (HWEA). It reveals that 98% of those interviewed felt the government, municipalities and developers did not provide sufficient information; over half claim they were unaware of projects in their area and even people living close to turbines still voice concerns about potential health risks. Over 80% believe citizens must have a role in the decision-making process, either through the local municipalities or directly. To make new installations more acceptable, 58% said they should be charged less for electricity, while 53% thought developers should sponsor public works in the area.

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