Trade body Solar Energy UK has published a new study of public attitudes towards solar development which finds that most people living near solar sites support the technology.

The report, based on an annual survey by Copper Consultancy, shows that solar farms are popular across the UK, said the report’s author, Solar Energy UK senior communications advisor, Gareth Simkins.

Overall, 42% of people living near an existing, proposed, or under-construction solar farm strongly support developing the solar sector, compared to 1% who said they were strongly opposed.


As many as 94% of respondents had either a supportive or neutral view of the sector, while the survey also found that solar farms had become more popular over time.

However, support for solar drops to only 17% for people living near solar projects in the development phase, but once sites are in operation, support rises to 61.5%.

“This tells us the uncertainty of development naturally leads to doubts, and this phase is where reassurance must be strongest,” the report says, adding that developers must act responsibly to bring the local community with them.

“It is clear that attacking solar farms is far from the vote winner some politicians might think it is, so Rishi Sunak’s administration is wise to be far more positive about them than his predecessor’s,” said Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK. “It is only a tiny, if vocal, minority that has given some politicians the impression that solar farms are unpopular,” he added.

Read more: SolarPowerPortal

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