Gerd Heidecke of the online WAZ daily reports on a new survey conducted by polling institute Forsa, commissioned by the Ruhr Region Initiative. The pollsters asked over 1000 people about energy in the industrial heartland of North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. Hat-tip Benny Peiser at Achse des Guten.
The title of the WAZ report is: “People in the Ruhr Region having doubts about the transition to renewable energy“.
For German standards, the poll produced some shocking results. Heidecke writes:
Among the people, skepticism about the transition to renewable energy is growing. According to a poll […] especially in the Ruhr Region, only a few believe in a rapid transformation of the energy sector. Many are worried about the energy costs.”
Heidecke also writes “that there’s great doubt the energy transition will succeed as planned” and that the abrupt change of course in the energy policy in the wake of Fukushima “does not correspond to the wishes of the citizens“.
In Germany only 9% of the population believe it will be possible to cover Germany ‘s energy demands with only renewable energy sources (only 6% in the Ruhr Region). In a nutshell: Germans no longer believe in the pipe dream and have already given up on it. In 2011, that figure was 39%.
Only hardcore greens still believe it’s possible (like the reality-detached Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Reserch – PIK).
Forsa concludes that a majority of citizens are more worried about energy being affordable and less so about it being green. Heidecke writes that the Ruhr Region Initiative moderator Bodo Hombach, who commissioned the poll, “was surprised by the great skepticism among the citizens concerning the transition to green energy“. Hombach said:
There’s a need for argumentation on all sides. Without the necessary acceptance, things will turn awry.”
The survey’s summary concludes:
The euphoria of politicians with regards to the transition to renewable energies is not spreading to the citizens. For the majority it is more important to have enough affordable energy available than it is to have ‘green’ energy.”
With only 9% of the German population believing it’ll work, proponents of green energy really have their work cut out for them.
Reading between the lines of the poll, people being more concerned about affordability tells us there is no longer much alarmism left. Being green to save the climate is not that important anymore. Five cold winters in a row does tend to refocus perceptions and bring people back to their senses.
The greens should recall what Winston Churchill once said: “With success, there are two kinds – initial success, and ultimate success.” Renewable energy had a lot of initial success, but ultimate success will be extremely elusive.