Eight in 10 in Norfolk worried about climate change and back offshore wind

Vattenfall

Norfolk residents are worried about climate change with almost three quarters of residents surveyed believing it is already affecting Norfolk or will in their lifetime, according to new research commissioned by Vattenfall. 

Vattenfall stated that nearly 80% of people who took part in an online poll across the county supported the growth of offshore wind as a way of decarbonising the UK’s energy system, with 76% supporting the industry’s growth in Norfolk. 

Their top reasons for backing offshore wind development were: 

  • Generating clean energy for homes and businesses,
  • Building a home-grown secure national supply
  • Offshore wind is a relatively cheap and fast way to tackle climate change. 
    Vattenfall commissioned the research in the summer to hear the views of people in the county about climate change and its effect on their lives, and to gauge support for offshore wind.  

    A total of 750 people across North Norfolk, Broadland Breckland, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, South Norfolk, King’s Lynn, and West Norfolk took part in the research, which gathered data from a representative sample of Norfolk residents.


    Seven in ten people (69%) said they were happy that East Anglia was at the leading edge of the offshore wind industry, with only 5% disagreeing. 


    East Anglia is world leading for offshore wind development with nearly half the UK’s installed capacity off its coast. The region is a hub for innovation, investment, and growth of an expert supply chain, servicing the fast-paced industry. 


    Dr Catrin Ellis Jones, Vattenfall’s Head of Stakeholder and Community Engagement for Offshore Wind, said: “We know from conversations over the last six years about our Vanguard and Boreas projects that people across Norfolk 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.  


    “Interestingly, younger people seem less aware of some of the potential benefits of deploying offshore wind off the East of England than some older people. 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.” 


    Investment, new jobs created by offshore wind and economic growth will be felt across the whole county and beyond, not solely in coastal towns.


    By area, strongest support for Norfolk’s growth of offshore wind was in Great Yarmouth and West Norfolk (both 81%), followed by Breckland (80%), South Norfolk (79%) Norwich (78%) King’s Lynn (76%) Broadland (72%) and North Norfolk (63%).