A recent poll found that almost two out of three people agree that more renewable energy is the solution to future energy needs, and a similar amount approve of Labor’s 50 per cent renewable energy target. In other significant findings 71 per cent think the Federal Government is not doing enough to ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy for households and businesses and 45 per cent blame blackouts on failures of the energy market during extreme weather.
Key findings of the Essential Research survey of 1006 respondents conducted online from February 16 to 19:
Climate change: 60% (up 6% since December) agree that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity and 25% (down 2%) believe that we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate. By age groups, those aged under 35 split 70%/15% and those aged 55+ split 47%/40%. People with higher education were more likely to think climate change is happening and is caused by human activity – those with university degrees split 72%/19%.
Renewable energy target: 65% approve of the Labor Party commitment to a target of 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 18% disapprove. These figures are little changed since the question was asked in 2015. A very high majority of Labor voters (82%) and Greens voters (89%) approve. Liberal/National voters were split but more likely to approve (55%) than disapprove (32%).
Cause of blackouts: 45% believe that recent blackouts are due mainly to failures of the energy market in responding to extreme weather events, 19% think they are mainly due to privatization of electricity supply and 16% think they are a result of too much reliance on renewable energy. 26% of Liberal National voters think they are due to a reliance on renewable energy. 51% of those with university education think they are due mainly to failures of the energy market. Although a small sample, 36% of South Australians think they are due to privatization.
Renewable energy: 64% (up 4% since October) agree more that renewable energy is the solution to our future energy needs and 14% (down 2%) think it is a threat to future energy supply.72% of Labor voters and 90% of Greens voters think it is the solution to future energy needs. Although a small sample, 51% of South Australians think it is the solution and 19% think it is a threat.
Energy: 71% think the Federal Government is not doing enough to ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy for Australian households and businesses and only 12% think they are doing enough. Even 62% of Liberal National voters think they are not doing enough.
Coal fired power stations: 31% support building new coal fired power stations in Australia and 45% oppose. Those most likely to support new coal fired power stations were Liberal/National voters (47%), men (39%) and aged 65+ (53%). Those most likely to oppose new coal-fired power stations were Greens voters (80%) and Labor voters (51%).