Majority of Australians want more renewables, poll shows

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With the growing chorus of voices warning about disadvantages of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) with regards to renewables deployment, a new poll has shown that most Australians want renewables to play a greater role in the country’s energy mix, as the sole guarantee of lower electricity prices.

The poll conducted by ReachTEL for Greenpeace Australia Pacific suggests that 70% of respondents want an ambitious renewable energy target, and more than 67% agree that renewable energy should receive more government support than fossil fuels such as coal.

This does not align with the current policy settings of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), which envisages only 2% increase in the renewable energy share in the national electricity market for a 10-year period. 

Although the NEG is said to hold a promise of $150 of savings per year, it is not clear how this is calculated due to a lack of modeling information in the final design of the NEG released by the Energy Security Board last week.

But, according to the poll, Australians have no doubt that investments in renewables would pay off. A total of 66.7% of respondents agree that the best way for the government to ensure low cost reliable electricity supply was to invest in renewables, along with dispatchable storage solutions like batteries.

Solar remains a safe haven in terms of energy costs, as confirmed by 78% of those polled, who believe that installing rooftop solar is an effective way of reducing electricity bills.

“It is clear that Australians love renewable energy and want more of it. They want government to champion the industry, as this polling clearly shows. Unfortunately, Turnbull’s NEG goes against both market realities and the desire of the Australian people – why attempt to strangle such a popular technology?”, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Research and Investigations, Nikola Casule, said.

ReachTel conducted the phone poll among 3,999 Australian households during the evening of July 30, 2018.