Australians overwhelmingly want governments to favour renewable energy over fossil fuels even if it costs more, and concerns about climate change are strengthening, a new Lowy Institute poll finds.
The survey of 1202 adults during the first three weeks of March found 81 per cent of respondents wanted policymakers to focus on clean energy sources such as wind and solar, even if it costs more to ensure grid reliability.
Just 17 per cent backed a focus on “traditional energy sources such as coal and gas even if this means the environment may suffer to some extent”.
The finding was one of Lowy’s highest results for a two-option answer and “somewhat surprising” since the poll was conducted soon after blackouts in wind-power dominated South Australia and the heatwave that stretched power supplies in coal-dependent NSW, said Alex Oliver, Lowy’s polling director.
“I wasn’t expecting the response to renewables to be so positive in the context of that very heated debate,” he said.
The poll results come just days before Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist, is due to release his review of Australia’s energy security on Friday.
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