More than three quarters, or 78%, of Australia's residents are in favour of utility-scale solar schemes, while 60% of them agree that funding for such projects should have priority over non-renewable energy ones, says the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
ARENA cites an online survey by market research expert Ipsos which further reveals that when it comes to big solar farms, more than 77% of locals believe that such facilities can help meet the country’s energy needs. Moreover, 63% of them expect large-scale solar power projects to help reduce the country's carbon emissions and 53% say those projects have an overall positive impact on the environment.
Simultaneously, Ipsos has released a report, which outlines best practice guidelines on how to secure community support for planned large-scale solar projects. “Key industry participants have welcomed the best practice guidelines, which can help the solar industry more effectively communicate the economic, environmental and social benefits of solar projects to nearby communities,” ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, commented.
ARENA provided AUD 153,000 (USD 119,800/EUR 109,200) in funding for the report. The online survey was conducted among 1,197 adults, while the report involved fifteen focus groups of 109 people in total. Ipsos conducted 36 interviews with community members and solar project stakeholders as part of the process.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.783/EUR 0.714)
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