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Thursday 17 August 2017
17 August 2017 - NEWS UPDATE
Community Energy

Public prefers wind farms to shale gas wells, says Co-op

Wind farms are six times more popular with the British public than shale gas wells according to new research published today by The Co-operative.

The ICM poll shows that when asked to choose between having a wind turbine or a shale gas well within two miles of their home, 67 per cent chose wind compared to just 11 per cent for gas.

Even when considered in isolation, twice as many people say they would support a turbine within two miles of their home than would oppose it (49 percent to 22 percent).

Age is a significant factor in the degree to which people support onshore wind in their backyard. Amongst 18-34 year olds there is enormous support, with 64 percent supportive and just 10 percent against. With over 65's there is only marginal support, with 38 percent for and 34 percent against.

However, if wind farms are owned by, and benefit, local communities then even older age groups show a marked support for developments near where they live with 61 percent of people aged over 65 expressing support and just 13 percent opposition.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals at The Co-operative said: "This poll puts to the sword the myth that the public are set against onshore wind and wish to rush into a second dash for gas.  The UK has made massive strides in recent years with its renewables generation capacity, and it's essential this continues.

"This research also strongly demonstrates that we need to see a stronger deployment of community-owned projects, especially in those parts of the country where a small, but highly vocal, minority are blocking progress."

Earlier this month, The Co-operative opened the third wind-farm on its farmland in Cambridgeshire and The Co-operative Bank has set aside £100 million to finance community energy projects, as part of a larger £1billion commitment to renewables investment in the UK.

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