A new survey hosted by Survation has shown that 64% of people in the UK are keen to see new infrastructure for the electricity grid developed to help the UK economy continue to decarbonise. Respondents also felt that additional electricity infrastructure would help to boost the country's energy security. Just 5% of people surveyed were in opposition. Amongst those in support of this move, 71% indicated that they voted Conservative in the last election.
The research, commissioned by Renewable UK, found that most British people see a lack of new electricity infrastructure is a key barrier to adopting clean energy sources. 51% identified this as a moderate or severe blocker to adoption. 55% of Conservative voters felt that a lack of investment in grid infrastructure was a problem.
Nick Winster, the Electricity Networks Commissioner for the government, launched a significant report last week on ways to accelerate the development of grid infrastructure, including ensuring that communities benefit directly. This was largely proposed via guaranteed community benefit funds, that would be offered by grid developers.
Respondents also flagged up that they wanted to have a say in what was installed, with guidance from grid developers to help them understand the different pylon designs and cable locations. People also felt that more clarity on these issues could maximise job creation, investment and energy security, and 62% said that climate change was an important topic to them.
Renewable UK said that the research showed that most people wanted to see vital new electricity grid infrastructure being developed to support the UK's transition to a low carbon economy, despite some earlier media reports to the contrary. They called on the government to forge ahead with concrete grid development plans and timescales.