Support for wind energy in Ireland continues to grow

06 Dec 2018

More than four in five (83%) back wind energy

Significant increases in support for wind cutting CO2 emissions and providing cheaper electricity

55% in favour of a wind farm being developed in their local area

A new Interactions opinion poll published today for the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) shows 83% of people support the use of wind power in the Republic of Ireland. There has also been a substantial increase in the number strongly in favour of wind to 54% (+7 points) compared to this time last year.

The survey, carried out during the month of November, also shows a 12 point increase among rural residents who strongly support wind energy to 55% against 2017 results.

IWEA commissioned the research to monitor and assess perceptions and attitudes around wind energy among adults and explore the perceived benefits of wind power. Key findings of the survey in 2018, which was identical to one conducted in 2017, include:

  • 83% in favour of the use of wind power (54% strongly in favour)
  • 81% of rural residents favour the use of wind power (55% strongly in favour, up 12 points since 2017)
  • 87% say Ireland should promote an indigenous source of energy and not rely on imported fossil fuels (56% strongly in favour, up 11 points since 2017)
  • 80% would choose renewables over fossil fuels to power their homes (up 10 points since 2017)
  • 82% see reduced CO2 emissions as a benefit of wind power (up 8 points since 2017)
  • 77% see cheaper electricity as a benefit of wind power (up 9 points since 2017)
  • 55% are in favour of a wind farm set up in their local area – up 9 points since last year (46%)

Dr David Connolly, Chief Executive of IWEA said: “Ireland has one of the best wind resources in the world. We are ideally suited to provide low-cost renewable energy to power our homes, farms and businesses. This survey confirms the high levels of public support for renewable energy as more and more of us understand the critical need to decarbonise our energy system to respond to the threat of climate change.

“Wind energy will provide 30 per cent of our electricity in 2018. This will save the taxpayer and consumer millions of euro that would otherwise be spent on imported fossil fuels. The development of wind energy will go some way to reducing fines the taxpayer will have to pay from 2020 for not meeting our emissions targets.

“Using wind power in combination with other technologies such as solar, batteries, interconnection, electric vehicles and heat pumps, we have developed a roadmap that would see 70% of Ireland’s electricity coming from renewables by 2030.

“This is an ambitious target but it is what we need to aim for if the Government is serious about taking us from being a laggard on climate change to a world leader, providing cheaper and cleaner electricity, and helping to attract further foreign direct investment into Ireland.”

The survey shows an overwhelming majority of people would choose renewables over fossil fuels to power their homes, while large majorities also see reduced CO2 emissions and cheaper electricity as the benefits of wind power.