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Public back New England offshore

UMass Amherst study find support for sector is higher than perceived

Public back New England offshore image

Public support for offshore wind projects in New England is higher than perceived, according to a research by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In an online poll of 89 residents, 83 (93%) said they supported the sector, while they estimated around 53% of fellow New Englanders held the same belief.

A further study quizzed 429 individuals during the construction of the 30MW Block Island wind farm (pictured) 22km off the coast of Rhode Island in 2016.

Responses showed 72% of visitors and 71.4% of residents supported the offshore project, with estimates of public support at 52%.

University of Massachusetts Amherst assistant professor in environmental conservation and report advisor Ezra Markowitz said: “This severe underestimate of public support for this technology may be one factor that holds back wider adoption and implementation of projects in the United States.

"Our results highlight the importance of considering not only peoples’ own beliefs about new renewable energy technologies but also their beliefs about others’ opinions.”

Image: Deepwater Wind

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