Wind and marine energy came joint-second in the poll, which measured public support for Britain’s future energy needs.

Released yesterday, the YouGov poll commissioned by the Sunday Times has revealed that 18% of respondents supported wind and 18% supported wave and tidal, which was more than three times the support for gas (5%) and nine times the support for coal (2%).

Two thirds of respondents said that the Government is right to pay energy companies to help develop low-carbon technologies, with just 13% disagreeing.

The findings echo the latest Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) survey which last week found nearly 8 in 10 (79%) support renewable energy with only 5% opposed and a clear majority happy to have a large-scale renewable energy development in their area.

The results also come a week after wind connected to the grid generated a record 5GW of power, equivalent to 12% of the UK’s total demand.

RenewableUK says the figures strengthen the call for a 2030 decarbonisation target after the debate was reignited on Friday, with MPs proposing an amendment to the Energy Bill that would require the Government to set such a target for the power sector by 2014 instead of 2016.

RenewableUK director of external affairs Jennifer Webber said: “Each time one of these national polls is published we see the same message – resounding support for wind, wave and tidal, continued acceptance of financial support for them and understanding of the benefits.

“Government needs to focus all its efforts on realising the low carbon future people are calling out for – 78% of people polled chose a low-carbon source of energy as their choice for the future. To achieve the investment needed to secure people’s overwhelming request for a low carbon future, we need to see a signal from Government beyond 2020. The 2030 target would be a great way to achieve that.”

Conor McGlone

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