Europeans Use Gas, Dream of Solar: Poll
A broad survey of European Union citizens’ opinions on home heating in the context of climate change, carried out by Savanta ComRes, came up with mixed results for utility lobby group Eurogas, which commissioned it.
On the one hand, it found that gas, in all its forms including hydrogen, was only the second most popular option for heating homes in future.
Illustrating the general public's lack of awareness of renewable energy's limitations, solar energy came out on top, even in countries with limited sunshine – such as Finland and the former gas champion, the Netherlands – especially at times of the year when heating is needed.
However, on the other hand, Eurogas said the responses demonstrated that citizens are keen to play a role in fighting climate change. When it comes to heating, Europeans want environmental gains, costs savings and user-friendly appliances, Eurogas said as it announced the results November 21.
"Power-to-gas, carbon capture and storage, anaerobic digestors, electrolysers and pyrolysis will help the EU decarbonise the heating sector. This could be done in a cost effective and publicly acceptable way.... Public acceptance is key in a transition to a low-carbon economy. Consumers’ preferences must therefore be considered as the EU strives to become a leader in tackling climate change and the new European Commission is devising a Green Deal for Europe,” said the secretary-general of Eurogas, James Watson.
Savanta ComRes surveyed 12,000 Europeans across 13 EU countries to see how citizens consider their contribution to fighting climate change, how they would like to heat their homes and what would make them change their heating system.
How much more money they will be prepared to put on the table to achieve net zero carbon will be a question for the next survey.