Australians want renewables-dominated energy system

Australians overwhelmingly want our country’s energy system to be powered by renewables because they see it as the “economically smart” thing for Australia’s future, according to a report by The Climate Institute.

The Climate of the Nation 2017 report has found 96 per cent of Australians want the country’s primary energy to come from renewable energy sources, with 58 per cent wanting it supported by storage technologies and 38 per cent by fossil fuels.

“People see through the divisive politics, they want bipartisan action and clean solutions,” The Climate Institute’s acting CEO Olivia Kember said.

“Australians recognise – to the tune of three quarters of the population – that the shift to clean energy presents a golden opportunity for economic development, investment and jobs.

“Almost two thirds think Australia can and should be a world leader in this area, but they don’t see our leaders delivering, and so they are getting more and more fed up with argument instead of action on this issue.”

The study draws from research based on a national attitudinal survey of 2660 people, conducted by Galaxy, and eight focus groups conducted by Brand Central, taking in participants from Adelaide, greater western Sydney, Brisbane and greater Townsville.

The report also found 55 per cent of Australians blame privatisation for high electricity prices; 44 per cent blame federal policy uncertainty or poor policymaking; and 34 per cent blame excessive gas exports driving up the price of domestic gas.

Other reasons, such as state restrictions on gas supply or the unreliability of renewable energy, were selected by less than a quarter of participants.

Few Australians think the federal or state governments are doing a good job on climate and energy – 41 per cent (up from 33 last year) think the federal government is doing a poor or terrible job.

This is the final report from The Climate Institute as it closes its doors on June 30.

The research will be continued by The Australia Institute.