78% of Brits want the UK government to invest in more renewable energy

The Eco Experts

Nearly four out of five people in the UK want the government to invest in more renewable energy and move away from damaging fossil fuels, results from our National Home Energy Survey show.

We asked 2,134 adults in the UK what energy sources they thought the UK government should invest in, and we broke this down by age bracket and region.

The survey shows that recent events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the increased demand for energy after the pandemic, has made the majority of the UK want the government to revisit its approach to energy.

Read on to find out the results.

An image of white houses in a valley, next to green hills and under a blue sky

What energy sources should the UK government be investing in?

78% of Brits want the UK government to invest in more renewable energy sources.

That’s solar, wind, nuclear, and hydrogen — all key elements in helping the UK reach net-zero emissions, but all sources that were barely mentioned in the government’s latest Net Zero Strategy.

It makes perfect sense when you look at what the last 12 months have wrought, with rising energy bills, droughts, and extreme weather events becoming more common.

We need to invest in more renewable energy, make no mistake, because continuing on like it’s business as usual will be catastrophic and it’s clear the UK public recognises this.

Looking at it from a different angle, just one in five people in the UK don’t want the UK government to invest in more renewable energy.

What about the types of renewable energy sources Brits want the government to invest in? Our survey showed that one third of respondents want investment in wind power, which aligns with our findings that one out of two people in the UK would live next to an onshore wind farm.

We also found that one quarter of the people surveyed wanted more investment into solar power. Looking at the instability of energy supply over the past 12 months, this makes sense — fossil fuels are unreliable and subject to wild price increases for reasons out of our control.

Especially in terms of powering our homes, with the cost of electricity increasing dramatically over the last year. In April 2022 electricity cost an average of 28p per kilowatt hour (kWh), but this rose to 34p per kWh after the October 2022 price cap increase.

This is because roughly 40% of the UK’s electricity comes from gas-fired power plants, and gas prices shot up in the wake of increased demand after the pandemic, as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine interrupting the flow of gas around the world.

Which UK generation is most in favour of renewable energy?

We found that generally the older people got, the less in favour of renewable energy they were. However, there is a slight difference between Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) and the Silent Generation (born 1928 – 1945) that is interesting.

Our survey showed that the Silent Generation were ever so slightly more in favour of renewable energy than Boomers — 78% versus 76%.

It’s because the Silent Generation were very in favour of nuclear power, which despite its potential for releasing dangerous radiation, can still play a huge part in reaching net-zero emissions.

35% of the Silent Generation were in favour of investing in nuclear power, which is much higher than all the other generations — Boomers were the only generation who came close with 22%, while Gen Z’s (born 1997 – 2013) approval of nuclear power was the lowest at 7%.

It could be the Silent Generation’s support for nuclear power stems from them growing up at a time where it was presented as the great solution. Many of this generation also came of age during the 1956 Suez crisis, which showed how easily the flow of coal and oil could be interrupted.

Which UK region is most in favour of renewable energy?

The results from the survey showed that all regions of the UK had between 70% and 80% support for renewable energy, which is hugely encouraging. This makes it clear that the majority of Brits want the UK government to shift to greener ways of heating and powering the country.

What’s particularly interesting is the difference between how some regions voted for more investment in fossil fuels — 15% of people in the North East wanted more money put into North Sea gas. Compare that to just 5% of people in the South East and it’s a big enough difference to discuss.

The likelihood is that people in the North East view greater investment in North Sea gas as an opportunity for more jobs.

Little enthusiasm for hydrogen

Just 6% of people thought the UK should invest in more hydrogen according to our survey, which is really interesting considering the ongoing debate about whether we should be heating our homes with heat pumps, or hydrogen boilers.

The low levels of enthusiasm for hydrogen could be because of a lack of understanding of the different types of hydrogen — there’s grey, blue, and green hydrogen and each has varying levels of environmental impact.

Grey is the worst, blue is better, and the best is green, which is the type of hydrogen we should be aiming to produce a lot more of to reach net zero. The UK is only producing around 10 megawatts of electricity using a combination of blue and green hydrogen right now.

Additionally, the UK government has done very little in the way of producing enough green hydrogen to make switching to it a viable option.

We need to kickstart the hydrogen revolution so that we can switch to hydrogen-ready boilers, which will be able to run off both ordinary gas and hydrogen, and hypothetically just hydrogen in the future.

Even littler enthusiasm for fracking and coal

The popularity of coal and fracking has plummeted in the public eye, in light of the widely documented damage they cause to the environment and human health.

Just 3% of respondents wanted the government to invest in coal, and fracking hardly fared better with only 4% saying more money should be spent on it.

Fracking has been a particularly contentious issue over the years, and especially in the last 12 months of rising energy bills and interruptions to the flow of gas caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

It seems most people view the practice as inherently harmful to the UK landscape, despite the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg saying he’d be “delighted” to allow fracking in his garden.

Fracking is known to poison groundwater, pollute surface water, impact wild landscapes, and threaten wildlife. These factors, along with our survey revealing that four out of five people in the UK are worried about climate change and its effects, makes the opposition to fracking totally understandable.

Find out more on our page: Why Is Fracking Bad?

Explore the rest of our National Home Energy Survey 2023

See the results


It’s great to see such a high level of support for more investment in renewable energy, and we hope findings like this will push the UK government to further divest from fossil fuels.

A more, if not fully renewable UK is the key to genuine energy security, and as the last 12 months have shown us, this is more important than ever.

You can see how last year’s results compared to this year by checking out our 2022 National Home Energy Survey.

Written by:
Tom Gill
Tom joined The Eco Experts over a year ago and has since covered the carbon footprint of the Roman Empire, profiled the world’s largest solar farms, and investigated what a 100% renewable UK would look like. Tom has a particular interest in the global energy market and how it works, including the ongoing semiconductor shortage, the future of hydrogen, and Cornwall's growing lithium industry.
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