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Survey finds considerable misconceptions on wind power costs in UK

CTBR Staff Writer Published 03 March 2015

A new survey commissioned by RenewableUK has revealed that the UK public have considerable misconceptions about the cost of wind power, believing subsidies to be 14 times more than they actually are.

Wind turbine

Marketing research firm OnePoll carried out the survey and questioned 2,000 adults in the UK.

According to survey, the average customer thinks wind subsidies add £259 to a typical £1,300 annual domestic dual-fuel bill. However, the subsidies add as little as £18 per household per year.

The survey also found that more than 90% of people underestimate public support for wind power in the UK, with two thirds of those think that turbines produce electricity less than half the time.

The turbines actually generate between 70% and 85% of the time.

Currently, 70% of the UK public are said to be in favor of wind, even though the majority of people surveyed believed that the approval ratings were only 40%.

Three quarters of people overestimated how much wind is required to keep a turbine spinning, believing it to be about 14 miles per hour (mph). But a turbine can generate in wind speeds of just 7 mph.

RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: "These independent polls show there are 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.

"This suggests that the loud voices of a small minority, too-often perpetuated by negative rhetoric in some parts of the media, are trying to distort the facts. The truth is that the vast majority of the British population - seventy per cent - are pro-wind power."

Onshore and offshore wind provided about 10% of the total electricity supply in the UK in 2014, enough to power about 6.7 million homes.

Image: The survey revealed that three quarters of people overestimated how much wind is required to keep a turbine spinning, believing it to be about 14 miles per hour. Photo: Courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.