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16 May 2024
Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy Should be ‘Key Focus’ for Next Government

Nine out of ten of people in Wales believe renewable energy should be a key focus for the next government.

New polling conducted by Opinium and commissioned by RenewableUK highlights strong support for renewable energy among Welsh voters.

In a survey of 10,021 individuals across the UK, Welsh respondents expressed significant worry about energy costs.

Nine out of ten of people in Wales believe that the advancement of renewable energy is a crucial consideration for the future government to help reduce energy bills, says RenewableUK.

It says Welsh respondents also recognised renewable energy as a catalyst for job creation (83%), driving regional economic growth (75%), combating climate change (82%), and enhancing energy security (87%).

More than 40% identified energy as the top priority in the cost-of-living crisis that they want the next government to address, above the UK average of 36%. This concern was followed by food and then housing.

The survey suggested that voters in Wales prioritise green jobs more than any other key sector of the economy for driving economic growth—more so than advanced manufacturing, digital technology, life sciences, or performing arts industries. More than seven out of ten polled in Wales (71%) urge the next UK government to take proactive measures to maximise investments in renewables and pursue a comprehensive green industrial strategy.

RenewableUK’s Assistant Director Manon Kynaston said:

“The cost of living crisis is clearly hitting home in Wales, and people recognise that enabling more renewable energy projects is the only way to meet our growing demand for energy whilst bringing down the cost to bill payers. This polling underscores a strong public mandate in Wales for ambitious policies that prioritise renewable energy and green job creation to address both economic concerns and environmental challenges.

“Wales has an extraordinary opportunity to deploy a variety of wind energy technologies over the next decade, from more onshore wind, to fixed and floating offshore in the Irish and Celtic Sea.

“Yet progress on the ground is stalling, due to a sluggish consenting system and poor grid network. We can only deliver these projects and unlock the vast benefits they will provide if enabling actions and infrastructure are urgently put in place. It has never been more important for governments to work together to achieve this, and this latest polling shows that is what voters want.”

RenewableUK  says that certain barriers to renewable energy projects lie with the UK Government, such as upgrading the grid transmission network and major economic investment, while other key factors, such as speeding up the planning system and skills development, sit within Welsh Government control.

RenewableUK’s manifesto includes a call from RenewableUK Cymru for a collaborative four nations taskforce to address these strategic issues and accelerate wind energy deployment across Wales.

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