Renewables Winning Fight in Polls as Support for Fracking Dwindles

Official figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change have revealed increasing support for renewable energy, while support for fracking for shale gas has reached an all-time low.


The DECC tracker survey has been following the changing attitudes of the public towards current issues. Their most recent survey, published this month, has revealed that the level of homes in support of renewable energy has risen to 77%- a 1% increase since September 2013.

Just 27% of households questioned showed support for the exploration of shale gas.

DECC tracker findings

The DECC Tracker of Public Attitudes has been running since 2012 and has highlighted changing attitudes amongst the public throughout this period.

More that 75% of those questioned in the survey knew at least a little about renewable energy. 44% said they were in favour of renewable heating systems such as biomass boilers or heat pumps, while 43% said they were neither for nor against these technologies.

The results of the latest DECC survey are also backed up by acedemic research which highlights the ever declining public support for fracking, despite the monetary rewards offered to affected communities by the government.

Further research

Similar surveys have also taken place over a similar timeframe, including that of Nottingham University. Their recent survey has shown that just 25% of the 3500 people they spoke to are in support of fracking. Like the DECC, the university has tracked changing attitudes amongst the public with a series of surveys since March 2012.

Over this period, the dwindling support for fracking has been highlighted:

The negative rating for shale gas and its relation to water contamination to have increased from -10.5 to -16.4 since July 2013.

In a similar way, views on shale gas as being a “clean” energy are shown to have increased from a negative rating of -9.9 to -12.7 between September 2013 and January 2014.

A number of factors may have played a role in the changing views of the public on shale gas. Scientific information has become more accessible on the subject, allowing concerned members of the public to do their own research and draw their own conclusions. Increased media exposure has also drawn people to see some of the other concerns involved. Even incidents of protesters being mistreated by the police have combined with these factors to seriously damage the public image of shale gas and fracking since the Tracker of Public Attitudes began.

Image sourced: Adrian Kinloch

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