Public prepared to invest in UK solar projects

installerA third of the public would consider investing their own cash in small scale renewable projects including solar facilities, according to a new poll.

The survey, by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, also found that more than half of the 2,000 respondents think the UK government should support the construction of more renewable energy sources.

Significantly, 64% of the public is worried about possible blackouts, and 93% concerned about higher electricity and gas bills in future, the IME said.

Dr Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the IME, said: “There are clear concerns that there is an insufficient amount of investment in new energy infrastructure and that the UK faces a future of high energy prices for consumers and possible blackouts.”

He claimed that government energy policy has been damaged by “mixed messages” on low-carbon energy policy and uncertainty over its support for a new nuclear build programme.

He said: “Government must stop playing politics with our energy system and the environment and make clear exactly how it is going to ensure that the country’s future needs are affordably met.

“It is only with this clarity that energy companies will have the confidence to invest in the infrastructure needed to keep the nation warm, lit, moving and working.”

The poll also revealed that a quarter of the public would consider investing in energy bonds where money would be used to build large energy infrastructure projects like nuclear power stations or large offshore wind farms.

The poll of 2,034 people was carried out by ICM on behalf of the IME in May.

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