An overwhelming majority of people in Germany continue to support the expansion of renewable energy, a poll conducted by YouGov for the Renewable Energy Agency (AEE) showed. Two-thirds said increased use and expansion was very or extremely important, while 23 percent said it was important. “The German population knows how important renewables are. Our acceptance survey shows that the people want the Energiewende,“ said AEE managing director Robert Brandt. Two thirds of those polled approved of solar PV installations in their neighbourhood, with approval rising to 78 percent if they actually lived close to such an installation. Fifty-one percent were fine with a wind park in their neighbourhood, again with approval rising to 63 percent among those living close to a wind farm, the AEE said. Only eight percent said living close to a coal-fired or nuclear station was fine. In both cases, approval rose to 29 percent among those with such plants nearby. 86 percent also said that building new transmission power lines was important or very important, though the picture was more mixed when people were asked whether they approved of transmission grid pylons in their neighbourhood.
Germany’s move towards renewables has long enjoyed broad public support. However, the installation of new renewable capacity has slowed, in particular because new wind farms have run into local resistance. The extension of the power grid, key to transporting renewable power from wind-rich northern parts of the country to the industrial powerhouses in the south, has also been slow. The government has launched a number of initiatives in its latest climate package as it aims to extend the share of renewables in electricity consumption from currently around 40 percent to 65 percent in 2030.