Survey Says We Want Cheap Clean Energy

Surprise, surprise: A new Financial Times/Harris poll in the U.S. and the five largest European countries says that, on the whole, we really want more renewable energy–especially wind farms–provided we’re not asked to pay a whole lot more for it. (As far as nuclear energy goes, though, the jury’s still out.)

Harris Interactive polled 6,255 adults 16-64 years old nearly evenly split between France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, U.S. and Italy in September of this year. Key findings include the fact that large majorities in all six countries favor or “strongly favor” more wind farms and that majorities in all six countries favor government subsidies for bio-fuels.

Iberdrola Wind Farm

image via Iberdrola Renewables

As far as nuclear energy goes, public opinion is more or less equally divided in the U.S., Britain and France, while clear majorities are opposed in Italy (60%), Spain (63%) and even more strongly in Germany (77%). These results are largely concurrent with results to the same survey obtained in 2008, with the exception that support for nuclear has declined somewhat in Italy and Germany.

When those surveyed were asked how much more per month they were willing to pay for renewable energy, most people in all countries said that the buck stopped at 5%. (A significant number answered “nothing.”) Those willing to pay more than 5% varied from 32% in the U.S. and 31% in Italy to 17% in Spain and 20% in France.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.