Support for use and expansion of renewable energy in Germany remains strong – survey
Clean Energy Wire
A large majority of people in Germany continue to support the expansion of renewable energy, but the percentage of those who see it as very or extremely important has declined, according to the latest survey by YouGov for the Renewable Energy Agency (AEE). The survey found that 83 percent of respondents favour the expanded use of renewables, down slightly from 86 percent a year ago. The share of people who see increased use and expansion as very or extremely important, however, fell from 65 percent to 57 percent; 26 percent said it was important, compared to 21 percent in 2020. The agency said the sustained high approval could hardly be underestimated in view of the pandemic and its economic and social consequences. In 2020, renewable energy covered more than 45 percent of electricity consumption but significantly less in the heating and cooling and transport sectors, according to AEE. "The potential of renewable energy sources is still not being fully exploited," said AEE managing director Robert Brandt. "With 83 percent of the population who are in favour of the expansion of renewables, the necessary support for a new upswing is available." The expansion of renewables must be accelerated in order to achieve Germany’s climate goals and counteract rising energy prices, AEE stressed.
Germany’s new government has cemented greater support for renewable energy in its coalition agreement, yet 39 percent of respondents expressed doubt that the country’s leaders would do enough to achieve climate targets. While Germany’s move towards renewables generally enjoys broad public support, new wind farms and major power lines in particular often run into local resistance.