Endorsing wind energy from different sides of the planet

» By | Published 09 Feb 2011

The power of wind as a positive force was supported on both sides of the Atlantic on Monday with the release of a new survey conducted by a US research firm and an opinion article published in an English newspaper.

Wind power was seen as either “favourable” or “very favourable” by 75% of people who responded to a Pike Research survey. In addition, wind energy had “unfavourable” responses of only 5%.

The consumer survey, conducted by the Colorado-based firm last summer, canvassed 1,042 Americans on their attitudes and awareness of 12 energy and environmental concepts. The margin of error for the survey results is around 3% with a 95% confidence interval.

Wind power and solar energy were the two most favourable concepts within this survey. “Pike Research asserts that consumers consider these renewable energies to be important pieces in the power generation portfolio of the future,” according to the executive summary.

By way of comparison, solar energy was viewed as “favorable” or “very favorable” by 79% of respondents. This was followed by wind power, then hybrid vehicles at 64%, with clean coal and nuclear at under 50% support.

In an article in the UK’s Guardian, Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive Officer of Renewable UK, passionately defended wind power against uninformed NIMBYism.

McCaffery said those who employ “Not In My Backyard” attitudes towards wind power are not looking at the bigger picture of climate change, energy security and a green economy based on sustainable energies.

She noted that “in Scotland renewables now supply over a quarter of all electricity, with wind supplying a half of the total and all other renewable technologies the other half.” In the UK as a whole, she added, renewables are close to 9%, again with wind supplying a half and all other renewable technologies supplying the other half.

McCaffery said that there are now about 10,000 workers in the UK wind power sector and that the average wind turbine contributes over £2m during its lifetime to the local and regional economy.

“[NIMBYism] says no at a time when we need yes,” she wrote in her article. “We need energy from renewables, and we need jobs. Wind can deliver both.”