A recent study by the Climate Institute reveals that solar power is still the preferred source of energy among many Australian households. The same report indicates that there’s little preference for coal or other fossil fuel energy sources.
The 2016 Climate of the Nation includes the findings of a survey involving more than 2,000 Australians on their thoughts and attitudes to global warming, climate change and related issues.
When asked to rank the first three preferred sources of power, 86 percent of those surveyed chose solar energy and 70 percent listed wind power; and this was up from 85 percent and 69 percent respectively compared to the 2015 results.
Only 12 percent of respondents included coal among their top three choices for energy.
59 percent listed solar power as their most favoured energy source, more than five times as many of those who chose wind (11 percent) and almost twenty times more than those who chose coal (3 percent).
6 percent chose nuclear energy as their most preferred, and 4 percent elected gas.
The report gets worse for coal.
“Three in four Australians agree it’s inevitable that the nation’s current coal-fired power generation need to be replaced,” states the report.
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“Around the same proportion of Australians agree that governments need to implement a plan to ensure the orderly closure of old coal plants and their replacement with clean energy.”
In South Australia, the only state that waved good bye to local generation of coal fired power this year, 76 percent of survey participants wanted coal to be phased out gradually (compared to 70 percent nationally). In Western Australia, 33 percent want power plants phased out as soon as possible, compared to a national average of 21 percent.
On a similar note, speculation is on the rise that Victoria’s Hazelwood Power Station, one of Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power generators, is on the verge of closure. However, the plant’s new owner has been quoted saying “categorically there has been no decision made”.
Climate of the Nation 2016 shows the majority of Australians who feel climate change is happening has hit 77 percent, up from 70 percent in 2015, 66 percent in 2013 and 64 percent in 2012.
“Australians, in record numbers, accept climate change is happening, and even more can see economic opportunity in the clean energy future they want to be part of,” John Connor, The Climate Institute CEO said.
The full report can be viewed here (PDF).