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British public thinks wind power subsidies are 14 times higher than reality

Wind Power

2,000 people were questioned for a survey for industry body RenewableUK about what they thought payments for wind farms added to fuel bills. The survey found the average estimate was £259 for a typical £1,300 dual-fuel energy bill. The actual cost of wind power subsidies from domestic energy bills is approximately £18/year.

Public support for wind power is also underestimated, the report found, putting backing at around 40% on average. However, the latest surveying by the government show support at 74% for offshore wind and 68% for onshore wind.

The poll also found that people underestimate how much of the time wind turbines are generating power. 66% of people questioned thought that wind power generates energy less than half of the time, when actually wind turbines generate power at different outputs depending on wind speed (between 70% and 85% of the time). Around ¾ of people also overestimated the amount of wind needed to keep a wind turbine turning, putting the figure at 14mph or higher according to the polling by OnePoll, when they actually need just 7mph (the equivalent of a light breeze).

Maria McCaffery (RenewableUK) chief executive stated “These independent polls show there considerable misconceptions about the cost of supporting wind energy - it’s much lower than people think, at just 35p a week per household. It’s also revealing to see that wind has almost double the amount of public support than was estimated.” She went on to state that “the loud voices of a small majority” were trying to distort the facts.

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