80pc 'worried about climate change', says energy firm
- Credit: (Julian Claxton) CHVP and Vatten
Eighty percent of people in Norfolk are "worried about climate change", according to a poll run by energy giant Vattenfall.
The firm, which wants to build two huge windfarms called Vanguard and Boreas off the Norfolk coast, questioned 750 people across the county.
The survey found almost eight in 10 people supported the growth of offshore wind as a way of decarbonising the UK’s energy system, with 76pc supporting the industry’s growth in Norfolk.
The firm's plans have sparked concerns over the potential damage that could be caused by laying miles of cables across the Norfolk landscape to link the wind farms to the National Grid.
Dr Catrin Jones, Vattenfall’s head of stakeholder and community engagement for offshore wind, said: "We know from conversations over the last six years about our Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas projects that people across the county are concerned about the impact of climate change.
"The poll confirms people believe it is already affecting their lives here - or will do in the future - in terms of flooding and more extreme weather events for example or they expect climate change will have an impact within their lifetimes.
"The poll also confirms a really significant majority believe large scale offshore wind should be central to how the UK addresses climate change, and that we need more of it quickly."
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Dr Jones said younger people seemed less aware of potential benefits of offshore wind than some older people.
She said: "As a sector, we have to do more to raise awareness and understanding, including to encourage people to prepare for the green jobs that renewable projects and the offshore wind supply chain offer.”
By area, strongest support for offshore wind was in Great Yarmouth and West Norfolk - both 81pc - followed by Breckland, 80pc; South Norfolk, 79pc; Norwich, 78pc; King’s Lynn, 76pc; Broadland, 72pc; and North Norfolk, 63pc.
Consent for both Vanguard and Boreas wind farms is pending, but the company expects the government to rule on whether or not they can proceed by the end of the year.
If it goes ahead, Boreas could meet the needs of around 1.3 million UK homes - about 5pc of the total. Vanguard would have an even bigger capacity and be able to power 1.95 million UK homes.