The Guardian has started a year long project called “the big energy debate”. What is worrying and interesting is that despite the fuss over energy prices over the last year how disengaged people are from all the whole energy problem. As part of the big energy debate the Guardian has done some opinion polling. An astounding 2% of people thought energy was one of the most important issues facing the UK. This was despite over 80% being concerned about bills. But only 32% thought it would influence the way they vote.
People seem unaware of their acute dependency on energy for example look at mobile devices. These take energy to manufacture, transport and above all use, with constant recharging. There are some encouragements from the big energy debate survey, there was very high support for renewables, particularly solar. Nuclear, biomass and coal were the least popular with fracking in between. Fracking other polls as well as this suggest is a fairly even three way split between don’t knows and antis/pros. Once it arrives in your backyard though its very unpopular.
We have a triple dilemma of affordability, security of supply and climate commitments. These often seem to contradict. But people do have to get their heads around this issue, the days of endless cheap energy are over. Hopefully the big energy debate will help to move things forward. It seems to be taking place on twitter and if “No oil in the lamp” can work out how to use it, it may well join in.