19 September 2012 - Following a recent Government survey which showed strong public support for renewable energy, a £500m 150MW project for an offshore wind farm in Ormonde has today been officially launched by Swedish utility company Vattenfall.
Conducted in July, the survey of 2,100 Britons found that 77% supported the use of renewable energy to provide electricity, fuel and heat, with only 4% opposed to it.
Support for green energy was slightly lower however than the first Public Attitudes Tracker survey carried out in March, when 79% backed renewables, although at that time more people were opposed to green technologies at 5%.
In total, public opinion on onshore wind remains high, having received a 66% thumbs up in both the first and second surveys. Furthermore, offshore wind projects received a 73% approval rating in July compared by 76% in March, while wave and tidal energy gained 72% support recently compared to 75% in the first study.
The research also found that 71% of respondents were concerned that the UK is not investing fast enough in alternative sources of energy in July, which represents a drop from 76% in March.
Despite this slight dip in support, the Chief Executive of trade association RenewableUK, Maria McCaffery, claimed the survey showed "enormous appetite" for the development of renewable energy.
Meanwhile, Øystein Løseth, President and Chief executive of Vattenfall, said that their new project in the Irish seas demonstrates one of the most innovative offshore wind farms in the world.
Løseth commented: "We believe it provides a glimpse into the future of offshore wind in Europe. The lessons that we have learned and the innovation we have demonstrated in the harsh environment of the Irish Sea will help deliver the safe, productive and low cost offshore wind schemes of the future.”