The independent survey, focused specifically on people living outside urban areas of Scotland, has found the population favors wave and tidal energy the most out of offered renewable energy options.
All renewable energy technologies enjoy high levels of support, according to the poll results, which show that rural Scots support the use of wave and tidal energy, as well as solar power, the most – 83%.
The survey, carried out by Survation, also found that eight in ten Scots living in rural areas (80%) think the next Scottish government should continue to develop renewable energy sources.
Results also demonstrate high interest for offshore wind energy (78%) and biomass (69%), while the support for building new fossil fuel (coal, gas or oil) power stations, or extending the life of existing ones stands at 42%. Just 31% of rural Scots back fracking, according to the poll.
Almost seven in ten Scots living in rural areas support the use of onshore wind energy (66%), with 22% saying they have no opinion or don’t know, and only 11% opposed to new onshore wind farms.
Jenny Hogan, Deputy Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The nature of Scotland’s renewable energy resource – our wind, tides, forestry and even our long summer evenings, among others – means many renewable energy developments take place in rural areas, providing jobs and economic opportunities which otherwise may not have existed.
“This independent polling shows that not only do rural Scots support the development of renewables, but that their opposition to policies which promote extracting and burning fossil fuels is unmistakeable.
WWF Scotland described the poll as ‘another nail in the coffin for the myth that renewables are unpopular’.
Gina Hanrahan, the organisation’s Head of Policy, said: “Not only is onshore wind the cheapest form of new energy, this poll shows it’s also one of the most popular, alongside solar, wave and tidal.
“Just last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sent a clarion call to all nations to act urgently and decisively to bring emissions down, and embracing renewables is one of the best ways of doing this.
Survey results come during the UK government’s Green Great Britain Week – designed to highlight the opportunities clean growth offers the UK.