More than three-quarters of Irish people are in favour of wind energy, according to a survey carried out by Interactions on behalf of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).
The poll found that 79% back wind power, with 52% strongly in favour of the technology.
Only 4% of respondents oppose wind energy, with 2% strongly opposing the sector.
The main reasons for supporting wind energy were helping the environment, a readily available energy source, renewable energy, addressing climate change and cost efficiencies.
IWEA chief executive David Connolly said: “It’s no wonder that wind energy is so popular when it cuts our CO2 emissions, cuts our electricity prices and creates jobs and investment across the country.
“Initial estimates are that wind energy provided just under a third of the country’s electricity last year, which is the highest level on record, and we look forward to growing that as new wind farms – onshore and offshore – are developed in the coming decade.”
IWEA highlighted the contradiction between the high levels of support for wind energy and government proposals that it said would undermine the sector's future growth.
Connolly added: “At the very moment we need to be developing wind energy at record levels the government, through restrictive new planning guidelines, is undermining efforts to achieve its own targets for renewable electricity.
“The draft wind energy planning guidelines published before Christmas by Minister Eoghan Murphy and Minister Richard Bruton would make it more difficult and more expensive to develop renewable energy and to cut Ireland’s CO2 emissions.
“In particular, the proposed new noise levels, potentially the harshest in Europe, will cost every person in Ireland an extra €550 in order to hit our 2030 climate action targets.
“It is hard to understand how proposals like this could be brought forward during a ‘climate emergency’.
Today’s poll findings confirm that using wind energy to produce electricity is incredibly popular.
“More and more people appreciate the benefits of a cheap, indigenous source of carbon-free electricity and want to see Ireland leading in the fight against climate change.”
The survey also found that 55% of respondents would support a wind farm being developed in their area, with the same percentage saying climate change would greatly or somewhat influence how they vote in the next election.
The top three reasons for backing local wind farms were that it would be 'good for the environment’, that there was ‘no reason to be against’ and ‘social responsibility’.
Connolly said: “Under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme to be rolled out later this year communities will see even more advantages from local wind farms including substantial increases in community benefit funding and the opportunity to invest in their local wind farm.
“Climate change will be the single greatest challenge for our society and the biggest issue for policymakers in the next few years.
“It is clear that candidates and parties putting forward policies designed to tackle climate change, including supporting renewable energy like wind power, will be rewarded for it on election day.”