Majority backs green power from wind farm extension plans
Plans for a new Thanet offshore wind farm has the backing of a majority of those most affected, an independent survey has found.
Commissioned by Swedish energy group Vattenfall, the Lake Market Research survey of 748 residents in Thanet and Sandwich Bay, found that 60% of those interviewed said that Thanet Extension Offshore Wind Farm was a good idea, 29% claimed they were not sure, with the remainder saying it was not a good idea.
When asked to explain why they liked the idea of the Extension, 45% of respondents said that it was a “cleaner” and “greener” alternative and another 5% said it was “better for the environment”. Other respondents cited “cheaper energy” (7%) and “create more jobs” (2%).
The survey, conducted in May 2017, also found that 83% of residents thought it was important the Extension benefited the promotion of “the area as being “greener” because it’s producing energy from renewable sources”.
Helen Jameson, Vattenfall’s project manager for the Thanet Extension Offshore Wind Farm, said: “We started talking to local people about our plans for an extension to Vattenfall’s Thanet Offshore Wind Farm late last year. It’s early days for the extension proposal and we can never take support for granted, nonetheless, it’s obviously good to hear that the survey found strong support among residents for the idea of an extension.
“Tackling climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge facing humanity and we have found – perhaps unsurprisingly – that’s why people in the local area back an extension to Thanet Offshore Wind Farm.”
In January 2017, Vattenfall revealed early plans to extend the existing 100-turbine Thanet Offshore Wind Farm with up to 34 additional wind turbines, potentially doubling the output of the existing wind farm with more powerful machines. Vattenfall is to discuss more detailed plans with local residents in the autumn of 2017.
The survey by Lake Market Research was conducted in May with 748 Thanet and Sandwich Bay residents interviewed face-to-face. The survey is within sampling error of +/- 4% tested at a 95% confidence level.