Wind, solar, and hydrogen energy are gaining ground in the minds of Canadians, with more than half of respondents telling the Angus Reid polling agency they want to see renewables prioritized over fossil fuels.
The online survey, conducted in early June, found that Canadians’ opinions are still very much shaped by where they live, how old they are, and who they vote for, reports CBC News.
“The vast majority of respondents across the country wanted to see more investment in solar (84%) and wind (77%), but regional differences were significant,” CBC writes. Whereas 67% in Quebec wanted investment to focus exclusively on renewables, only 33% felt the same in Alberta. The Prairie provinces also ranked “energy independence” over all other priorities, in contrast to the rest of Canada, where renewable energy development topped the list.
The Angus Reid report authors pointed to a general lack of concern for the connection between energy policy and economic growth among respondents.
Arriving as rumours of a federal election loom large, the poll also found Conservative voters “out of step with supporters of other parties”. Only 18% identified renewable energy investment as a priority, far below the support from voters for the Liberals (71%), the NDP (78%), and the Green Party (86%).
CBC notes that the poll was conducted in early June, six weeks before the devastating “heat dome” that clamped down over much of western Canada, killing hundreds and pushing power grids to their limits.
A further key finding in the poll: Canadians break into roughly two camps nationally on nuclear power. Slightly over half support greater investment while 49% oppose any expansion. Home to most of the country’s nuclear power stations, Ontario skewed more strongly in favour of the technology, with 64% giving it a thumbs-up.