Survey: support for building offshore wind farms among Estonians is very high

According to a survey conducted by Kantar Emor, the majority, i.e. 81%, of the Estonian population supports the wider use of wind energy. The least favorable option was increasing Estonia’s energy dependency – half of the population is opposed to buying more electricity from other countries than today.

A survey commissioned by Utilitas Wind and conducted by Kantar Emor shows that 73% of Estonian people are in favor of constructing wind farms at sea and 65% on land. There is also strong support for the increased use of wood chips and residues and sustainably managed biomass (81%) and the construction of solar panels on the roofs of residential buildings (88%). At the same time, 61% of respondents favor building more solar parks on the fields.

“The population’s support for renewable energy continues to be high, which shows that the goal set by the state to produce all electricity consumed in Estonia from renewable energy sources by 2030 is the right direction. In addition to meeting environmental goals and ensuring energy security, a large amount of renewable electricity would be a new competitive advantage for the Estonian economy and would help bring new energy-intensive industries to the country and income to the state budget,” noted Rene Tammist, Member of the Management Board of Utilitas Wind.

The survey also revealed that almost two-thirds of Estonian residents do not believe that an offshore wind farm would affect the attractiveness of the region as a tourist destination, and 15% even consider the impact to be positive.

The attitude of residents of small islands near offshore wind farms was also studied separately. In Kihnu 63% and in Ruhnu 55% of the respondents have a positive or neutral attitude towards them. More than half of the residents of Kihnu consider the most important positive impact of offshore wind farms to be the economic benefits for the local government. A third of the residents of Ruhnu believe that green energy, as well as energy of domestic origin, are the main positive effects. “Residents of small islands also hope that offshore wind farms will bring affordable energy and create new jobs. These effects are especially important for younger residents,” said Anu Varblane, a research expert at EMOR.

Kantar Emor conducted a nationwide survey commissioned by Utilitas Wind in October this year. A total of 1130 Estonian people aged 18 to 84 responded to the survey. The survey of the residents of Kihnu and Ruhnu (according to the population register) took place in September and a total of 269 people responded to it.