The German population wants more renewable energies: A representative survey shows strong support for further expansion
Berlin, 10 September 2015. The transition to renewable energy enjoys continued strong support among the German population. According to a representative survey from TNS Emnid commissioned by the Renewable Energies Agency (AEE), 93 percent of those polled considered the continued expansion of renewable energies to be “important” or “very important”. “The results show that the population in Germany advocates for a focused effort in the development of renewables. Politicians should use this overwhelming support to further advance the transition in the energy supply“, explains AEE Managing Director Philipp Vohrer.
For 68 percent of the population, the construction of renewable energy facilities near their homes would be considered a good thing, according to the survey. A further noteworthy conclusion: Among those who are already familiar with renewable energy facilities, support for solar, wind, and biogas plants continues to be higher. 59 percent of those polled would classify a wind turbine in their neighborhood as “good” or “very good”. Of those with a wind turbine already installed near them, the support rises to 72 percent.
To the advantage of renewable energies, those questioned valued generational fairness and environmental protection the most, but also economic aspects. Three fourths of all of those polled say that renewables contribute to a secure future. Even in times of low petrol prices, security of supply is still important to the people: For more than two-thirds, renewables are a large contributor to increased independence from energy imports. 57 percent see a chance for enhanced citizen participation in the energy supply. However, only one-third of those polled expect sinking energy prices. “That doesn`t seem to hinder the support of renewable energy expansion. The worth of this energy transition far outweighs the costs – and that is something the people in this country recognize,” says Vohrer.
A fair contribution to the energy transition
Most people polled agreed that the current contributions incurred to shoulder the effort of expanding renewables in the power sector is fair. 63 percent of those polled would consider the current surcharge of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) to be fair or too small, whereas merely 31 percent considered the surcharge to be “too high”. Last year a similar poll from TNS Emnid commissioned by the AEE found that 36 percent considered the EEG surcharge to be “too high”. Currently, a household that uses 3,500 kilowatt hours annually pays about 84 Euros per month for electricity. That includes about 18 Euros for the advancement of renewable energy. Every year, the EEG surcharge is set in mid-October for the following year.
“The support for the development of renewables has, according to the AEE commissioned poll, remained steadily above 90 percent over the years,” says Vohrer. The AEE has commissioned polls asking about the public’s approval of renewable energy since 2007. Meanwhile, the share of renewable energies in power consumption has doubled from 14 percent in 2007 to 28 percent in 2014. By contrast, fossil fuel energy has an approval problem according to the poll results from TNS Emnid. Only 7 percent of those questioned in the latest poll spoke in favor of a coal power plant in their area.
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