Mass LED streetlight switch could save councils £200 million per year combined

  • Mass switch to LEDs could save UK’s councils £200 million per year

  • 600,000 tonnes of carbon could be also be saved

New figures produced by climate charity 10:10 show a mass switch to LED streetlights could save the UK’s councils over £200 million per year combined.

The figures, compiled by energy expert Chris Goodall using data from a series of councils across the UK, put into clear detail the benefits of making the switch to the more efficient lighting. As well as saving councils £200 million a year, we could save over 600,000 tonnes of carbon a year, the equivalent of removing 400,000 cars from the road.

Compared to conventional bulbs which have to be replaced after 4-6 years, LEDs can last for over 20 years, reducing waste and saving time and money on maintenance. Compared to conventional street lighting, LEDs have demonstrated energy savings of up to 50-70%. This can rise as high as 80% when combined with smart sensors and controls.

Whilst the benefits of LEDs have been known for a while, councils have been slow to switch. By 2014, only 10% of councils had switched to LED streetlights, with the most recent estimate suggesting this has only increased to 20%. 10:10 Climate Action are asking voters to speed up the process, and call on their councils to switch their streetlights to LEDs within five years.

Neil Jones, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

These figures show just how bright an idea LED switching is. In these tough financial times £200 million per year is a huge amount - that’s the same as providing nearly 500,000 pupils with free school meals each year. And coupled with clear environmental benefits it becomes a no brainer. That’s why we’re calling on councils to take up the pledge to switch to greener, cheaper LED street lighting by 2022.

Chris Goodall, leading researcher into new energy technologies, said:

As these figures show, the case for switching to LED is clear. It means more money for councils, less carbon in our atmosphere as well as safer, better lit streets. The time has never been better to get behind the LED revolution.



For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings people together to take practical action on climate change

  • The full estimated savings calculated by Chris Goodall amount to £204,984,000 a year across all councils. This figure was calculated by taking an average of the savings from a 100% conversion to LED streetlights for five councils that are representative of the spread across the UK. The average saving, which is estimated to be 60%, was then applied to the current lighting bill for non-LEDs, £341,640,000, giving us the figure £204,984,000 saved per year.

  • The full carbon saving was calculated as 614,952. This was calculated by dividing the cost saving of £204,984,000 by the estimated current cost per kWh (0.1), to give 2.04984 TWh (which is about 0.6% of the total UK power). This figure was then multiplied by 300 g/kWh (the carbon content of Grid) to get 614,952 tonnes per year carbon savings from a full switch

  • £204,984,000 is the equivalent of providing free school meals for 469,071 children per year. Each meal for a child costs £2.30 and students take 190 meals over an academic year, providing £437 per child per year2. Therefore, £204,984,000 divided by £437 provides free school meals for additional 469,071 children each year. School meals figures can be found here:

  • The saving of  over 614,952 tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to 401,929 cars, based on the average amount of CO2 produced per kilometre for new cars in the UK (120.1g), multiplied by the average number of kilometres driven (12,714km).

  • The comparative life length of LEDs and conventional bulbs can be found here:

  • Figures on the comparative efficiency of LEDs can be found here:

  • The figure that only 10% of councils had switched to LEDs by 2014 comes from the Green Investment Bank’s market report.

Cold homes loophole could see vulnerable tenants hit with £1bn energy bill.

Housing standards exemptions that opened on Friday could allow landlords to leave some of the most vulnerable private renters with a £1bn energy bill over the next five years.

Regulations were initially passed under the coalition government, but the subsequent closure of energy efficiency funding schemes means landlords may be able to exempt themselves from having to improve the worst privately rented housing stock - potentially affecting up to 700,000 tenants.

From April 2018, regulations will come into force that prohibit the renting of properties with energy performance certificates below band E in England and Wales. Latest figures show this covers close to 300,000 rental properties, with the Government’s own figures estimating the annual energy bill savings for a household moving from band G to E would be £990/yr. For a band F household it would be £510/yr.

However a new loophole in the regulations risks allowing landlords to register for a 5 year exemption from the requirements if there are not adequate energy efficiency policies to fund the measures. With the closure of schemes such as the Green Deal,  Landlord Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) and reductions in the only remaining scheme, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO),campaigners fear landlords will use the lack of funding as a reason not to invest in these properties. This could add up to £1bn to the energy bills of tenants already living in the worst housing stock over the 5 years the exemptions last. In contrast, research has shown that over 70% of properties could meet the standards at a cost of no more than £1,000

10:10 Climate Action is leading a coalition of partners are calling on the government to introduce a cost cap to ensure that necessary improvements are made. Their proposal would requiring landlords to cover costs up to £5000 - the figure the government previously agreed to consult on.

Emma Kemp, campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

Already these measures didn’t go far enough - offering only minimum improvements to often vulnerable tenants in the worst housing stock - but with the cold homes loophole they could become toothless.

We have some of the leakiest homes in Europe - every winter we spend a fortune on energy that simply flies through our doors, windows and floors. Rather than letting landlords off the hook, the government should be backing tenants by closing the loophole and capping the cost for landlords instead to ensure fairness to all concerned.

Getting a grip on energy bills was a hot topic of the election, and the government says it wants to end fuel poverty by 2030. This loophole makes both harder. What better way to cut bills and fight climate change than to ensure all tenants live in warm, energy efficient homes?


For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer,, 02073886688

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings people together to take practical action on climate change

  • The government's estimates for bill savings can be found here

  • According to the latest English Housing Survey figures (tab AT2.7) there are 297,640 which fall into EPC bands F and G. In band F there are 212,594 and band G there are 85,046. There are 14,000 properties below band E in Wales.

  • The overall calculation of £1bn top end figure is found by multiplying the government's estimated savings for households in bands F and G with the number of properties in their respective bands. This is then multiplied by the full five years of the potential exemptions. Full figure - £1,017,374,400

  • 700,000 figure = average inhabitants (2.3 people in the British Housing Survey) multiplied by 300,000 properties.

  • The 70% / £1000 improvement figure comes from the Parity Project report.

  • There are 850,00 fuel poor households in the private rental sector in England across all bands according to data from Future Climate and National Energy Action, 2016.

Fracking and small scale nuclear struggle as onshore wind finds favour with the public

  • 65% of the public would be happy to live within 5 miles of a wind farm

  • In contrast, 62% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a small modular nuclear reactor

  • 61% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a fracking site

  • 69% of the public would be happy to live within 5 miles of community wind turbines

New polling by YouGov for climate charity 10:10 published today in The Guardian reveals in fresh detail the UK public’s attitude to electricity generation technologies like wind, nuclear and fracking.

The poll shows clear happiness with the prospect of living close to onshore wind developments. 65% of the public would be happy to live within 5 miles of a wind farm and 69% would be happy to live within 5 miles of single wind turbines. Significantly, when asked about living near a community owned wind farm - rather than a commercial development - overall unhappiness fell to 17% from 24%.

Notably, the polling found support across the political divide, with a majority of 2017 Tory (57%) and Labour (76%) voters saying they would be happy to live within 5 miles of an onshore wind farm. Equally all the regions of mainland UK surveyed returned favourable results for onshore wind developments. These figures come despite a number of policies implemented by the government to prevent the growth of onshore wind due to claimed widespread opposition to the renewable technology.

The results contrasted sharply with the results for small modular nuclear reactors and fracking. 62% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR). Equally, despite a slew of high profile government policies designed to make fracking sites more palatable to affected communities, 61% of the public would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a fracking site.

This trend was again mirrored across the political divide with 55% of 2017 Tory and 69% of Labour voters saying they would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of an SMR. Similarly with fracking 55% of 2017 Tory voters and 71% of Labour voters would be unhappy to live close to a fracking site.

This new data complements ongoing research from the UK government into public attitudes to energy, which have continually shown strong support for renewables and falling support for fracking. It also challenges the story pushed by some politicians and commentators, who insist wind is not popular. Polling by 10:10 and ComRes in October 2016 showed that although 73% of the British public back onshore wind, only 11% think that it is that popular, illustrating a clear difference between perception and reality.

Commenting on the findings, Ellie Roberts campaigner at 10:10 Climate Action said:

The government’s own survey data has long shown that when asked, most British people say they would be happy to host wind farms in their neighbourhoods. But the government has so far neglected to ask this question about their favoured new energy sources, fracking and small modular nuclear reactors. Our new survey helps to plug this gap in our understanding of public attitudes - and shows that the reverse is true for these technologies.

Yet the government has banned new wind power in England supposedly because people don't want it, while forcing fracking on communities that have explicitly rejected it - and pouring hundreds of millions into small modular nuclear reactors that nobody wants to be within 5 miles of. It's very difficult to understand the logic to this when the government also admits that onshore wind energy should already be cheaper than gas or nuclear power in the UK. It is high time for the government to think again about its de facto ban on our cheapest source of new electricity, onshore wind.


data from the YouGov poll is available for download:

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer,  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings communities together to take practical action on climate change

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,660 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th - 13th September 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Climate change polling reveals divided nation

  • 44% of British public feel hopeful about our chances of combating climate changes, 42% do not.
  • Fewer than a third have heard of climate action success stories like renewable energy records (28%) or coal-free power (29%).

  • Success stories inspire greater positivity about the UK’s chance of fighting climate change.

Polling by ComRes released today by climate charity 10:10 has revealed that, when it comes to how we feel about climate change, the UK is a divided nation.

44% of those polled feel hopeful of the UK's ability to combat climate change compared to 42% who do not feel hopeful.

The poll also reveals a clear appetite for individuals and society as a whole to take action on climate change. 60% agree that all of society should take shared responsibility for repairing the environment, whilst 53% agree that individuals must take initiative and change their day-to-day behaviours to fight climate change.

Yet, despite a slew of milestones, fewer than a third have heard of the recent successes for climate action. Larger trends are more likely to be recognised, with 29% having heard that the UK had its first coal-free day since the industrial revolution, and 28% having heard of recent renewable electricity generation records. But far fewer have heard of recent innovations, with only 9% knowing about Scotland's first tidal power turbine generating electricity.

When presented with these success stories, significant numbers of people feel positive about the UK’s chances of combating climate change. Hearing about the UK's recent renewable energy generation records left 54% of people feeling positive about the UK’s ability to tackle climate change, with only 2% feeling negative. Similarly, 51% feel positive when presented the Scottish tidal turbine story and only 2% feel negative.

The polling was conducted as part of 10:10’s Climate Hope Day which aims to use positive climate action stories to help inspire action by the public on climate change.

Commenting on the findings Esther Griffin, Climate Hope lead at 10:10 Climate Action said:

There’s no doubting climate change can be terrifying, and it’s important that people recognise the scale. But 10:10 was founded on the idea that hope is also an important, powerful tool for inspiring action, and people need stories of things going right on climate change, as well as news to worry about.  

As this poll shows, we’re a pretty divided nation when it comes to how we feel about climate change. But it also shows that when people are presented with some of the amazing success of climate action, they feel more positively about our chances. We should be shouting these stories from the rooftops so we can galvanize the climate action we both desperately need and, as this poll shows, the public want to see.


Data from the ComRes poll is available for download:

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer,  0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings communities together to take practical action on climate change

  • ComRes interviewed 2009 British adults 18+ online between the 23rd and 25th of June 2017. Data were weighted by age, gender, region and socio-economic grade to be representative of the population as a whole. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules (

10:10 response to Donald Trump's exit from the Paris agreement

In reaction to president Trump’s announcement on the Paris agreement, Amy Cameron, director of operations at 10:10 Climate Action said:

Today’s news is clearly not great for the global fight against climate change but it is very far from a fatal blow. As much as Trump may want to hold back the tide, the momentum, much like the global community, remains squarely behind action against climate change.

For all his bluster about the harm caused renewables and climate policies or his wild ideas about a return to coal, the reality is quite different. Clean, popular, and cheap solar and wind are proving a winner with people right across the US, both Republicans and Democrats. All whilst dirty and expensive coal continues its terminal decline. The US could be a world leader on this but in turning his back on the future of energy and the fight for a sustainable world Trump is simply inviting the rest of the world to eat America’s lunch.

10:10 reaction to dissolution of parliament

In reaction to the dissolution of parliament, Leo Murray, director of strategy at 10:10 Climate Action said:

Whilst Brexit may be this election’s watchword, our politicians cannot let climate change slip off the agenda.

This election mustn’t be an excuse to trade away our climate leadership. Instead, the major parties should reaffirm their commitment to our climate and energy targets along with the laws that underpin them.

The success of offshore wind shows that with the right backing Britain can lead the global shift away from fossil fuels. But we could be doing so much more. We need to hear how parties plan to unlock the awesome potential of our home grown onshore wind, solar, hydro and tidal power resources.

The British public wants a government that will take the climate fight seriously. It’s now up to the major parties to show they have the vision to build a clean, green future.


Prince mural kicks of six week national solar fundraising drive


On the anniversary of his death a mural dedicated to the star Prince has today been unveiled outside Camden’s iconic Electric Ballroom. This kicks off a six-week fundraising drive inspired by the star’s charitable work.

In the days following Prince’s death details emerged of his wide ranging, secret philanthropy, including thousands of dollars worth of solar panels he donated to communities in Oakland, California. Inspired by his actions, climate charity 10:10 are launching a £50,000 crowdfunder to provide solar panels for groups in six locations across the country working on other issues Prince supported.

By going solar, the groups - which range from a foodbank in London to a community centre in Glasgow - will benefit from lower energy costs, providing more money to support their work.

The Electric Ballroom, which hosted a historic secret Prince gig in 2014, will be displaying the mural until the campaign ends on the star’s June 7th birthday.

Neil Jones, project manager at 10:10 climate action said:

As Van Jones said, Prince's legacy was way more than just the music. With his support for clean energy, he helped underline a really key point - solar power is for everyone.

We've brought together six inspirational groups, all with roofs screaming out for solar power. There's a food bank just south of Wembley (which Prince played many times), a unique community-led horticultural project in the middle of Manchester, an LGBT+ helpline that’s been running since the 1970s, a community centre in Glasgow which survived council cuts in the 1990s when users heroically occupied it for 55 days and nights, the only community recording studio and rehearsal space on the Isle of Wight, and a dance education initiative right in the heart of Welsh coal country.

Going solar will help all of them cut carbon, but it'll make them more energy independent too, meaning they can save money on bills and put it towards their great work instead.

Kate Fuller, the Electric Ballroom Camden said:

We’re pleased to be able to host such a fitting tribute to the late music legend Prince. Having hosted him here during his legendary 2014 UK tour we know how special a person he was and are excited that we can help support an initiative aimed at keeping his life and legacy shining bright.



For image requests and further comment: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer, 10:10,, 0207 388 6688,

Notes to editors:

Solar panels, originally offered to George Osborne, reach refugee centre in northern Greece.

Solar panels, originally offered to George Osborne, reach refugee centre in northern Greece.


Solar panels, originally offered to George Osborne in 2015, have reached a refugee centre in northern Greece. The panels, which have been transformed into  solar charging units, are now providing refugees with access to vital and potentially life saving communication devices.

In 2015 the panels were gifted to George Osborne’s Tatton constituency office by comedian Josie Long to highlight the environmental and financial benefit of solar energy. A series of aggressive cuts had seriously threatened the solar the industry, and many believed the treasury to be behind the policy changes.  

The panels were ultimately rejected, but climate charity 10:10 have rehomed them at a centre which provides a safe space for refugees outside of the Vasilika refugee camp in northern Greece.

The panels are now reliably powering one of the spaces charging units, helping to ensure refugees have essential access to mobile devices, data and the life saving information they can help provide.

Esther Griffin, spokesperson at 10:10 climate action said

Reliable electricity is a real problem for refugee camps across Europe so sending these panels to Vasilika makes perfect sense. We know charged devices like mobiles phones are a vital survival tool for many refugees in Europe. The clean, safe and reliable power provided by these panels can help them keep both safe and connected with loved ones.

Ultimately to act on climate change though we need more than just a few panels, we need to drop fossil fuels fast, and shift to clean sources like solar, wind, tidal and hydro. And to do that, we need better support from our politicians.  

James Clarke from refugee charity Respond said

We want those living in the camp to have access to the good quality, stable infrastructure they need to can keep safe- these solar panels are part of that. A reliable phone charger might seem like a simple thing but it really is crucial to those using it. With a charged phone refugees can contact friends and family, look up health information and keep planning a positive future for themselves.


For photos:

For further information and requests for interviews: Daniel Jones, press and profile officer,, 0207 388 6688.

Notes to editors:


Pioneering Cornish wind farm receives birthday card from the nation

Pioneering Cornish wind farm receives birthday card from the nation.


Delabole wind farm in Delabole North Cornwall, the first commercial wind farm in the UK, yesterday received a card signed by over a thousand people from across the country in celebration of its 25th birthday.

The wind farm was commissioned by local farmer Peter Edwards and began generating power in December 1991, making it the first commercial venture of its kind in the UK. Since 2002 it has been owned by Wiltshire based Good Energy who have used the farm to benefit the community through a local fund and a special discounted electricity tariff.

The card, organised by climate change charity 10:10, has been signed by people from
Orkney through to the Isle of Scilly who wish to thank the pioneering wind farm “for 25 years of clean power.”

Cecily Spelling, campaign manager at climate change charity 10:10, said:

We felt a bit silly, taking this massive card on the tube then all the way down to Cornwall. But the story of Delabole wind farm has touched so many people around the uk. We just wanted to share all the love for wind turbines!  For people up and down the country wind turbines offer a glimmer of hope for a cleaner, greener future and that all started right here 25 years ago with Delabole wind farm. It’s a myth that people don’t like wind turbines. Our polling shows 73% of the British public back onshore wind power.

Juliet Davenport OBE, chief executive of Good Energy, said:

This is an incredible achievement for the renewable energy industry – and a big moment for Delabole. Since the turbines started turning, renewable technologies have come a long way, with wind power generating a record-breaking 12% of the UK’s electricity in 2015.

The success of the wind farm has largely been down to the support of the local community who are the real custodians of this site. It’s thanks to them, and their belief in the project, that has helped make Delabole the perfect model for further wind power developments here in the UK.

Peter Edwards - known as the ‘Grandfather of Britain’s wind industry’ - who first developed the wind farm in 1991, said:

After the wind farm started generating in 1991, one of the main criticisms was that the amount we contributed to the National Grid was so insignificant that we shouldn’t have bothered. That’s why it’s so satisfying to see just how far wind energy has come and how it now competes with nuclear. As Bob Dylan once wrote ‘The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind’.


Credit 10:10

For image requests and further comment: Dan Jones, press and profile officer, 10:10,, 0207 388 6688,

Notes to editors:


10:10 Budget response

In response to the Budget Cecily Spelling, campaign manager at 10:10, said:

It’s the same old mistakes from the Chancellor's first budget. By shovelling more funding to prop up a failing fossil fuel industry the government is throwing good money after bad. This is while they continue to block cheap, clean energy sources like onshore wind and solar.

This is the opposite of an industrial strategy. Rather than chasing the dirty fuels of yesterday the government should be helping our oil workers retrain for the good jobs offered by the clean energy system of tomorrow.


Climate change national day of action comes to town with local pinwheel display

Climate change national day of action comes to town with local pinwheel display

Exeter based Solicitors firm Stephens Scown have today marked a national day of action on climate change with a heart shaped display of pinwheels.

The pinwheel display, which represented how much the UK public love onshore wind turbines, was one of a number by groups across the country in support of climate charity 10:10’s ‘Blown Away’ campaign.

Wind power has been playing an increasingly important role in the UK providing more electricity than coal for the first time in 2016.

Recent cuts to financial support and changes to the planning rules have stalled the development of the power source. But with public support consistently high and costs continuing to fall the group are hoping the government will take the opportunity to start backing the UK’s on-shore wind industry.

Stephens Scown Solicitors said:

Stephens Scown were involved in the very first wind farm in the UK and have a long established tradition in supporting the wind industry. We believe that onshore wind has a very important part to play in the nation's future and wish to encourage the public to engage with us to ensure that wind continues to provide us with the clean energy we need.

Cecily Spelling, campaign manager at 10:10 said:

Like nearly 3/4 of the population, Stephen Scown love onshore wind and today they’ve gone the extra mile to show it. When it comes to our power it doesn’t get much cheaper, or popular, than onshore wind. That’s why we stand with Stephen Scown as they call on the government to stop blocking and start backing our onshore wind.



For project info, image requests and further comment: Dan Jones, press and profile officer, 10:10,, 0207 388 6688,

Notes to editors:


10:10 reaction to the capacity market auction

In response to this week's Capacity Market auction Cecily Spelling, campaign manager at climate charity 10:10, said -

This year’s capacity market auction has finally brought forward some investment in new UK gas power stations - and it is encouraging to see more battery and pumped hydro storage win contracts. However, in total it will see over £1bn of public money awarded to fossil fuel generators, at least £154m of which is destined for the most polluting energy sources - coal and diesel.

The capacity market should be better designed to assist the UK’s transition to low carbon electricity. Yet these new payments to fossil fuel generators stand in stark relief to government’s ban in support to our cheapest energy source, clean onshore wind. On Wednesday wind power set a new UK generation record, confirming its place once again as a mainstream energy technology.

If the Government is serious about a clean energy future it must reform the capacity market to ensure storage and flexibility are better incentivised, and end the ban on financial support for our cheapest energy source - onshore wind.

For further information: Max Wakefield, lead campaigner, max.wakefield or 0207 388 6688. 

10:10 reaction to the Autumn Statement

In response to the Autumn Statement, Max Wakefield, lead campaigner at climate change charity 10:10 said -

“Whilst we welcome the decision to retain the Carbon Price Floor, it must be coupled with a commitment to invest in clean, low cost energy sources like onshore wind. With renewable investment set to fall 96% by 2021, the Chancellor needs to right his predecessor’s wrongs and focus his new infrastructure drive on cheap, home grown renewable energy.

Our future industrial prosperity will be powered by a clean, smart energy system. We know it, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said it and now the Treasury must get behind it. That means the government must stop blocking onshore wind and start backing the cheapest forms of new, low carbon energy.”

-- ENDS --

Notes to editors:

10:10 brings communities together to take practical action on climate change

Parliament Square carpeted in pinwheels to show public support for clean energy

Parliament Square carpeted in pinwheels to show public support for clean energy

  • 1000 pinwheels were planted in Parliament Square at dawn this morning, highlighting public support for onshore wind power.

  • As scientists declare 2016 the hottest year on record, campaigners are calling for government funds to be urgently redirected away from fossil fuels and to the development of clean energy.

1000 pinwheels were planted in Parliament Square at dawn this morning to highlight public support for wind power in the run-up to next week’s Autumn Statement.

Campaigners from climate change charity 10:10 then took bouquets of pinwheels to the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy along with a petition signed by 18,000 wind power supporters.

Before next week’s Autumn Statement, and with international climate talks currently happening in Marrakesh, the petition urges the government to ensure onshore wind power is able to compete with other forms of electricity generation, and to reevaluate subsidies for fossil fuel power stations. Campaigners point to latest World Meteorological Organisation figures showing 2016 will be the hottest year on record, and call for government funds to be urgently redirected to support the development of clean energy.

In 2015 the government announced the end of financial support mechanisms for new onshore wind power, despite it being as cheap as new gas-fired power stations to build, endangering their manifesto commitment to ensuring the lowest cost transition to a low carbon economy.

Yet since 2014 ‘Capacity Market’ auctions - designed to ensure a secure electricity supply - have handed £2.8 billion of public money to various electricity generators. £1.8bn of that went to fossil fuel power stations, with over £500m allocated to the dirtiest generators, burning coal and diesel. According to climate charity 10:10 the same level of support for onshore wind power would enable 7GW of capacity to be built - enough to meet 6% of the UK’s annual electricity demand. According to campaigners, upwards of £1 billion more will be contracted to dirty and inefficient forms of electricity generation in auctions coming up in December and January.

Since 2010 deployment of renewables in the UK has outstripped all but the most bullish expectations, resulting in a quarter of UK electricity demand being met from renewables in 2015. Further, latest government figures predict onshore wind will be cheaper than new gas power by 2020 at the latest, with significant scope for costs to fall below gas before then. By 2025, it is expected that onshore wind will be by far the cheapest new power capacity option.

Onshore wind power is also very popular in the UK. Latest government research shows public support for onshore wind at 71%. A ComRes poll conducted for climate charity 10:10 last month generated similar results, and also found two thirds of people living in rural areas (where onshore wind turbines tend to be built) say they support onshore wind farms (65%), challenging the accepted idea that it’s only city dwellers who prefer the technology. Although support for onshore wind was lower here than in urban areas (75%), it is still high, and the difference is similar to that found when split by age (77% of 18-24s support onshore wind compared to 66% of over 65s). In contrast, the government’s research shows support for fracking at only 16%.

Cecily Spelling, wind campaigner at climate change charity 10:10, said:

“Onshore wind is great. It’s cheap and can help control bills. It’s climate friendly. It’s popular. It’s a plentiful resource here in the UK. And yet current government policy is hanging it out to dry. They claim they want the cheapest decarbonisation of the UK economy, yet lock out the cheapest forms of low carbon energy - onshore wind and commercial scale solar.

It looks like we’ll be giving more than a billion pounds more public money to dirty fossil fuel power stations this winter , whilst failing to invest adequately in clean energy or support innovation in electricity storage and ‘smart grid’ technologies. It’s a dangerous use of public money and risks tying us to dirty fossil fuels for way longer than we need.”

-- ENDS --                                      

Hi-res photos (credit - Andrew Aitchison):

Notes to editors:

British press out of touch with public support for wind power

British press out of touch with public support for wind power

  • Polling out today shows three-quarters of the British public (73%) say they back onshore wind farms.

  • At the same time, a new analysis of British press coverage shows comment and editorial pieces are largely negative about wind power, though more balanced when it comes to fracking.

  • Polling also shows British people grossly underestimate support for onshore wind.

Polling by ComRes released today by climate charity 10:10 shows that three-quarters of the British public back onshore wind power, at a level twice that of support for fracking wells for natural gas (73% vs 34%).

The poll also found British people underestimate support for onshore wind. Despite 73% saying they support onshore wind, only a minority (11%) think that 71% or more people in the UK support the use of this technology illustrating a clear difference between perception and reality. Similarly, 83% say they support solar farms, while only one in five (21%) think that 71% or more people in the UK support it.

Significantly, the poll also found two thirds of people living in rural areas say they support onshore wind farms (65%). Although support for onshore wind was lower here than in urban areas (75%), it is still high, and the difference is similar to one found if you split by age (77% of 18-24s support onshore wind compared to 66% of over 65s). Interestingly, 73% of both men and women support onshore wind, despite established significant gender divides when it comes to fracking and nuclear (42% of men support fracking, 27% women; 61% men support nuclear, 33% women).

In an attempt to fix the perception gap and promote the deployment of onshore wind, 10:10 are launching a pro-onshore wind campaign today, Blown Away, inviting people to show their support for the technology. A range of activities are planned for the next year, starting with a petition before the autumn statement on 23rd November calling on the government to ensure that fossil fuels are not given more financial support than onshore wind.

Also released today by 10:10, new research conducted by Sandra Bernick, Imperial College London, compared UK press coverage of onshore wind and fracking in the last 5 years. It suggests a worrying lack of balance when it comes to onshore wind.

Bernick found two and a half times as many overall negative editorial and comment pieces on onshore wind as positive ones. When examining each argument made within the articles, for every four problems raised about onshore wind, she found only one argument stressing the benefits.

In contrast, when it came to pieces about fracking, arguments tended to stress the positives - only two out of five arguments raised problems with fracking. Bernick also found individual articles on fracking tended to be more balanced in weighing risks and benefits against each other. 15% of the fracking pieces the research looked at expressed both risks and benefits, whereas only 6% of the wind pieces did.

When it came to the arguments made against onshore wind, aesthetic and cultural problems were the most frequently employed, followed by economic issues or technical problems. On the benefits side, economic arguments were most often used, followed by environment ones. Strikingly, arguments for the energy independence onshore wind might offer the UK were nowhere to be found, even though they were a concern frequently used when advocating fracking.

10:10 worries this suggests that when pro-wind advocates do make their case, they rely too heavily on expertise of environmental scientists and economics, rather than seeking to forge more personal relationships between the public and wind power. This analysis would follow decades of research into public engagement with science and technology as well more recent analysis of aspects of the Brexit debate.

Max Wakefield, lead campaigner at 10:10, said:

“The UK public love wind power and they don’t even realise. That’s why today we’re launching the Blown Away campaign - asking people who love wind power to stand up and be counted.

Back in 2014, before David Cameron put opposition to onshore wind in the Conservative manifesto, he told the House of Commons Liaison Committee that people were ‘fed up’ with wind farms. But it’s plainly not true onshore wind is unpopular with the UK public. It’s not just our poll today, again and again the data shows this. It’s time our politicians caught up.

Onshore wind is already the cheapest tool we have to achieve energy independence, keep bills under control and tackle climate change. And, unlike government pet projects like fracking, it’s really popular. It’s time for a fresh debate about onshore wind in the UK: with such high public support, it can’t just be hung out to dry”.

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Notes to editors:

  • 10:10 brings communities together to take practical action on climate change

  • 10:10 is funded by a combination of charitable trusts and foundations, individuals and corporate partnerships. The launch of Blown Away has received no money from the wind industry.

  • ComRes interviewed 2037 British adults online aged 18+ between 12th and 13th October 2016. Data were weighted by age, gender, region and socio-economic grade to be representative of the population as a whole. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules (

  • Sandra Bernick used Factiva to find articles from the British national print media for the period 01 January 2011 to 21 September 2016 on onshore wind and fracking, then ran sentiment and framing analysis.

The Pokemon Go of clean energy: solar treasure hunting app launched today.


Launched today at sunrise, a new solar prospecting app, Look Up, aims to help Brits put the fossil fuel era behind them and realise the power of sunshine.

Developed by carbon-cutting charity 10:10, the app provides some Pokémon GO style fun to the often technical and depressing topic of energy. Developed as a nation-wide solar treasure hunt, there are prizes for players who log the largest solar potential before British Summer Time ends on the 30th October.

To play Look Up, users simply spot rooftops that could host solar panels. These might be at home, on the highstreet, in an industrial park, on a cowshed, a school, or somewhere else entirely. The app takes users through a few simple steps logging the roof’s orientation and any shade around it, as well as connecting with Google Earth and the phone’s camera to add the roof to the national Look Up database.

Britain might not be known for its sunshine, but UK solar power has rapidly expanded in recent years. Figures released by the government this summer showed a doubling of solar PV panels installed since 2015. Installations in 2015 were themselves almost double that of 2014. Britain's first solar home wasn’t plugged in until 1995, but this February we reached the 1 million solar homes milestone.

Solar power is exceptionally popular in the UK. Latest polling from the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows 80% of the public support solar. In comparison, only 19% support fracking.

The solar industry in the UK has suffered from drastic government cuts in the last year and an more than half of all 35,000 UK solar jobs have been lost as a result. However, there is a lot of untapped solar capacity in the UK. 10:10 hope this app will not only help log rooftops which could host solar, but engage the public with clean energy.

Alice Bell, head of communications at 10:10, said:

“Once you start looking for possible solar sites it can get really addictive. Taking action on climate change doesn’t have to be a matter of graphs, grids, floods and dying polar bears. It can be a playful, adventurous re-imagining of how we design our futures. During the coal age, we got used to the idea of chimneys on roofs but now it’s time for something different. It’s time to stop digging for fossil fuels and Look Up to the power of wind and solar.”

Cecily Spelling, project manager for Solar Schools, said:

“British solar has grown so much in recent years, and still has so much untapped potential. It's been devastating to see the cuts shut down so much important work, but it's not the end of the story. Even if these rooftops don't get developed tomorrow, they will next year or the year after, because ultimately our shift to low carbon energy is unstoppable."

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Hi-res photos of Look Up in use are available:

Notes to editors: