Almost three-quarters of Australians of the 1000 polled would prefer their energy from renewable sources, a recent study commissioned by Vestas Wind Systems and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The study also found overwhelming support for suppliers to declare their sources of energy including the amount of electricity from renewable sources.
However, despite the overwhelming support for renewable energy, Australian’s were more opposed to wind power than global averages, with one in six opposing wind turbines within visual proximity to their lives. This can be compared to average rates of one in 20 globally. With the significant take-up of rooftop solar pv in Australia, this may be indicative of the preferences for consumers.
In response to the renewable energy target, the need for both solar and wind power will increase in the near future. But this isn’t without opposition from utility companies and an anti-wind movement which has magnified opposition to the production of wind power. Victoria also restricts wind turbines to within two-kilometres of a home without the owners permission, a move which may be replicated elsewhere in Australia. Utility companies have put significant pressure on the Australian government to modify the current renewable targets, where the target may risk $17 billion in development of the fossil-fuel generators.
This research has indicated a preference of Australian consumers, and over time suppliers will have to set themselves up with the reality that significant amounts of energy will have to come from renewable sources.