Renewables UK poudly rolled out a poll that first showed 60% in favour of turbines which then grew to 72%. What was the truth? An analysis of the Poll is below.
However, beneath the spin, the results expose the harm that will be caused to tourism. Looking closely at the figures they show that 17% (1 in 6) of all types of people thought that wind farms on the landscape were “completely unacceptable”, while 80%, (a huge majority) thought them less than “completely acceptable.” Translated into tourism impact it can be seen just how many people will be put off from visiting regions where wind farms predominate.
Also, their survey excluded anyone over 64! That’s 20% of the UK population, and probably the sector most likely to dislike seeing turbines. There is available a spreadsheet obtained from RenewableUK. There may well be other flaws in the methodology, but I think the findings support the anti-wind case anyway, if interpreted appropriately, so I’d recommend running with it rather than shooting at it, except perhaps that their conclusions paint an optimistic picture
Keith Mycock, in assessing the figures, has also pointed out the following:-
1 The older the participants were the more likely they were to find them unacceptable
2 There were only 5 and 8% of the participants 50 and 81 from Wales and Scotland where the majority of wind farms are.
3 The South East, West Midlands and London had the greatest number of participants where the majority will live in Cities or big towns where turbines aren’t likely to be built.
4 I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of people participating in Wales and Scotland lived in large towns or cities as well.
It is hardly surprising that who aren’t already or even likely to have to suffer wind farms will be in favour. It may be proven that the selection of only 1009 participants out of a population of some 65 million is hardly representative especially with the age restriction and the prevelance of urban contributors. The fact that Renewables UK have been so selective on their statements is pretty typical. The concern is that the politicians will leap to it’s defence as it tells them what they want to hear. How long before the likes of Rob Gibson, The Green Party and Salmond/Ewing will be trumpeting these figures.
At the same time, Friends of the Earth, that bastion of wind farm support has recently commissioned a report that suggested something a little different.
Tide turns in favour of wave power instead of wind farms
A Pelamis Simulai, a wave energy converter, undergoing testing in Pentland Firth (Getty)
By DAVID MADDOX
Published on Monday 23 April 2012 00:00
VOTERS in Scotland appear to be turning away from wind farms, a new survey has shown, in a blow to the Scottish Government’s renewable ambitions.
A poll carried out for Friends of the Earth has revealed that just 18 per cent of people north of the Border put wind power as their first choice for future energy supply.
The YouGov survey showed that while 65 per cent believe wind should be part of the mix, this was down from 78 per cent seen in a similar survey by Scottish Renewables in 2010.
Instead the preferred choice in Scotland is for tidal and wave energy to become the main supplier with 32 per cent backing the option, even though.
The full report is in the Scotsman
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