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The 2018 Forsa survey “Assessment of the natural gas market by members of the public”* An analysis of public opinion regarding natural gas-based energy supply and natural gas production in Germany

On behalf of “Zukunft Erdgas”, forsa Politik- und Sozialforschung GmbH has examined how male and female citizens in Germany perceive the possibility of a successful energy transition. The survey looked at people’s priorities regarding the supply of energy, as well as which preferences they have for different alternative energy sources. Also, the attitude of the population towards natural gas production and natural gas-based energy supply was analyzed.

German citizens are slightly more skeptical about the success of the energy transition in Germany.

34 % of the German population believes that the energy transition, the way it is currently planned, can succeed without any problems; however, more than half of the respondents (62 %) fear that supply shortages, disturbances and black-outs, may be possible throughout the transition.

Supporters of the left-wing party and The Greens were more likely to believe in the unobstructed success of the energy transition.

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Between spring 2016 and 2017 the share of those who believed in the success of the energy transition has risen in comparison to the previous years of 2014 and 2015. Of course this share might have declined to some extent due to the growing number of trouble spots in the world, which may have unsettled many people.

Security of supply and affordability still hold the highest priority

As seen in the results of previous surveys (spring 2014 to 2016, spring and autumn 2017) the affordability of power and energy is of high importance for the German citizens (67 %). A secure and reliable energy supply at all times is the second most important aspect of the supply to the interviewees (59 %). Ecologically beneficial energy production is the least important factor of the energy supply to the respondents (46 %). Primarily supporters of the left-wing party and The Greens think of eco friendliness as a crucial aspect.

Natural gas as the preferred partner of renewable energy

In order to secure energy supply for households and companies, 54 % of the German citizens share the opinion that natural gas should be used next to the renewables. 22 % say that, judging from environmental, cost and security aspects, timber would be the best complementation to renewable energy sources. 20 % of the respondents prefer oil, 17 % favor nuclear energy and 14 % would like to see coal as the strongest partner of the renewables.

The decline in entries of most of the energy sources could be due to the problem of the attainment of the climate targets, which was also discussed in the coalition negotiations. Furthermore the growing number of trouble spots across the world could contribute to this decline.

Citizens of the German Federal Republic believe more natural gas is necessary to ensure energy supply.

Just like in autumn 2017, more than half of the German citizens (52 %) in spring 2018 believed that in the future more natural gas than today will be needed to secure energy supply within Germany.

Only a respective minority believes that less natural gas (19 %) or approximately the same amount as today will be needed (23 %).

You can download the study here


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