A considerable majority, 85%, of the British people support their government's push for greater use of renewable energy, including wind and solar power, according to results of a poll released by the Department of Trade and Industry on May 24.
British Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks announced these finding at the 6th All Energy conference -- a two-day event described as the largest all-renewable energy exhibition ever held in Britain. Wicks also announced grants totaling 1.2 million pounds ( US$ 2.2 million) awarded to 16 separate solar energy projects.
Prime Minister Tony Blair is calling for Britain to increase its use of renewable energy, as well as nuclear power, owing to dwindling reserves of North Sea oil and gas and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "The government's target is that 10% of the UK's electricity will come from renewable sources by 2010," Wicks told the conference.
"To do this we will need more schemes like the Whitelee wind farm which was recently given the green light by the Scottish Executive. This project will be the largest onshore wind farm in Europe when it is completed and will provide clean energy for 200,000 homes, almost the whole of Glasgow," he added.
According to pollsters NOP, who carried out the survey on behalf of the government in March, 81% of Britons favor the use of wind power and just over three-fifths would be happy to live within five kilometers of a wind power development.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006