Public attitudes to renewable energy
Public support for renewable energy is strong, with renewable energy supported over all other options for power generation.
The NSW Government recently undertook a telephone survey of more than 2000 adult residents and businesses across regional NSW in areas most likely to host wind farms (Community Attitudes to Wind Farms in NSW).
The survey asked which of a given list of power sources were acceptable to them if a new power station was to be built in their local region, with the following response:
- 95% support solar energy
- 81% support wind farms
- 75% support hydropower
- 69% support gas-fired power stations
- 33% support conventional coal-fired power stations
- 24% support nuclear power stations
This demonstrates strong public support for renewable energy, including wind farms.
Public attitudes to wind farms
In recent years there has been significant media interest in relation to community attitudes towards wind farms.
This coverage is distorted by a fear campaign from some opponents of wind farms, placing all sorts of disasters at the feet of wind farm developers – bushfires, noise, health issues, property devaluation and more.
This fear campaign attracts disproportionate coverage with the media always looking for contentious issues to attract viewers and readers.
The reality of public attitudes to wind farms is very different. In the survey referred to above, the NSW Government confirmed:
- 85% of respondents support wind farms in NSW
- 80% support a wind farm built within their local region
- 79% support a wind farm built 10 km from their residence
- 60% support a wind farm built 1 to 2 km from their home
Clearly, by far the majority of the regional NSW community is in favour of wind farm development, even within their local area.
Epuron acknowledges that support for wind farms is not universal, and some members of the community hold genuine concerns about various issues associated with wind farms.
We take those concerns very seriously.
For that reason each wind farm is carefully assessed and its impacts identified and understood before it is submitted for assessment through the planning processes of the State and Federal Governments.