Essential Report

Preferred energy sources for government support

Sep 28, 2021

Q. As you may be aware, many of Australia’s coal-fired power stations are reaching the end of their operational lives and will soon need to be replaced.

Which of the following would you prefer that the government supported?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Liberal + National Greens TOTAL: Other
Renewable energy solutions (e.g. wind and solar) 65% 52% 77% 61% 72% 60% 76% 51% 79% 54%
New nuclear power stations 19% 28% 10% 17% 15% 25% 12% 28% 11% 19%
New coal-fired power stations 8% 8% 9% 11% 8% 7% 5% 11% 3% 14%
New gas-fired power stations 8% 12% 4% 11% 5% 8% 7% 9% 7% 12%
Base (n) 1,094 539 555 341 368 385 366 397 101 130
  • Renewable energy is the preferred power for the future for the majority of Australians (65%).
  • One in five (20%) say they want the government to prioritise support for nuclear power.
  • Fossil fuels receive little support – with just 8% wanting government support for coal or gas.
  • The majority of all demographics want the government to prioritise support for renewables.

Government spending on energy sources

Mar 10, 2020

Q To what extent would you support or oppose the Government spending taxpayers’ money to research the following energy sources?

  NET: Support NET: Oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Neither support nor oppose Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose
Renewables (such as large-scale solar or wind farms) 71% 12% 45% 27% 16% 7% 5%
Hydrogen technology 57% 10% 24% 33% 32% 7% 3%
Clean coal 50% 23% 20% 29% 28% 11% 11%
Nuclear 38% 35% 17% 21% 27% 15% 20%

 

    Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention Location
NET: Support Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other Capital City Non-Capital City
Renewables (such as large-

scale solar or wind farms)

71% 71% 72% 74% 69% 72% 78% 66% 95% 63% 74% 67%
Hydrogen technology 57% 65% 51% 53% 52% 66% 58% 61% 63% 54% 59% 53%
Clean coal 50% 50% 50% 49% 44% 56% 43% 64% 28% 48% 51% 47%
Nuclear 38% 47% 30% 32% 34% 47% 34% 50% 25% 37% 39% 36%
  • 71% of participants support the Government spending taxpayers’ money to research renewables, compared to 50% support for clean coal.
  • Support for research into renewables is higher in capital cities (74%) than non-capital cities (67%), and higher among Greens voters (95%) than all other voters (63%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to support research into clean coal (64%) and nuclear power (50%) whereas Greens voters are least likely to support those energy sources (28% and 25% respectively).
  • Men tend to support research into hydrogen technology (65%) and nuclear (47%) more than women (51% and 30% respectively).
  • Participants over 55 years are more likely to support research into hydrogen technology (66%), clean coal (56%) or nuclear (47%) than those aged 18-54 (52%, 46% and 33% respectively).

Government support for energy industries

Jul 21, 2015

Q. Do you think the Federal Government gives enough or not enough support to the following?

Gives enough support

Does not give enough support

Don’t know

The coal industry

60%

12%

28%

Wind farms

18%

56%

25%

Large scale solar

15%

55%

30%

Roof top solar

21%

57%

22%

60% think that the Federal Government gives enough support to the coal industry and a majority think they do not give enough support to roof top solar (57%), wind farms (56%) or large scale solar (55%).

A majority of all voter groups think the Government gives enough support to the coal industry.
A large majority of Labor and Greens voters think the Government does not give enough support to roof top solar (Labor 67%/Greens 79%), wind farms (71%/86%) or large scale solar (66%/82%).

Liberal/National voters were more divided but were more likely to think the Government does not give enough support to large scale solar (26% enough/42% not enough), roof top solar (33%/43%) or wind farms (34%/39%).

Energy Sources

May 26, 2015

Q. Do you think Australia should put more emphasis, less emphasis or about the same emphasis as it does now on producing domestic energy from the following sources?

More emphasis

Same emphasis

Less emphasis

Don’t know

Sep 2014 More emphasis

Sep 2014 Less emphasis

Solar power

71%

14%

4%

11%

70%

3%

Wind

62%

20%

6%

12%

60%

8%

Hydro

55%

25%

4%

17%

46%

6%

Gas

22%

41%

20%

17%

23%

22%

Nuclear power

23%

25%

32%

21%

18%

41%

Coal

9%

25%

50%

16%

9%

53%

71% think Australia should put more emphasis on producing domestic energy from solar power and 62% think there should be more emphasis on wind power. A majority (50%) think there should be less emphasis on producing energy from coal.

There were few substantial differences since this question was asked in September, except for an increase for more emphasis on hydro power – up from 46% to 55%.

Energy sources

Sep 2, 2014

Q. Do you think Australia should put more emphasis, less emphasis or about the same emphasis as it does now on producing domestic energy from the following sources?

 

 

More emphasis

Same emphasis

Less emphasis

Don’t know

Solar power

70%

21%

3%

5%

Wind

60%

26%

8%

6%

Hydro

46%

39%

6%

9%

Gas

23%

47%

22%

8%

Nuclear power

18%

26%

41%

15%

Coal

9%

31%

53%

8%

70% think Australia should put more emphasis on producing domestic energy from solar power and 60% think there should be more emphasis on wind power. A majority (53%) think there should be less emphasis on producing energy from coal.

There were few significant differences across demographic groups. Those aged 55+ were a little more likely to want more emphasis on solar (74%) and less emphasis on coal (64%).

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