>90% of Americans want more solar energy: Red and blue see green future
(October 12, 2010) — On the eve of Solar Power International, North America’s largest solar energy trade show, a new national poll shows that the vast majority of Americans overwhelmingly support development and funding of solar energy, and their support for solar has remained consistent over the last three years. These and other findings were reported in the 2010 SCHOTT Solar Barometer, a nationally representative survey conducted by independent polling firm Kelton Research.
- 94% of Americans think it is important for the nation to develop and use solar energy. This was consistent across all political party affiliations.
- 80% of Americans agree that Congress should consider reallocating federal subsidies from fossil fuels to solar. Also read: US solar market, led by CA, will grow tenfold by 2014
- Over half (51%) the country would choose to work in the solar industry if they were to start working in renewable energy.
- Nearly half (49%) of Americans considering solar for their home or business plan to make a decision to adopt solar in less than one year.
- Nearly half (49%) of Americans are willing to pay more for clean, reliable solar energy.
Strong support for solar remains unchanged since Americans were asked the same questions in the August 2009 SCHOTT Solar Barometer (92% of Americas want solar developed now) and June 2008 SCHOTT Solar Barometer (94%). The difference is within the margin of error for these polls.
This support for solar power is consistent across political party affiliation with 92% of Republicans, 98% of Democrats and 94% of Independents agreeing that it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar power.
Furthermore, four out of five (80%) Americans feel that Congress should reallocate federal subsidies away from fossil fuel towards renewable energy industries. Broken down by party affiliation, 86% of Democrats, 69% of Republicans and 81% of Independents feel this way. Americans understand the urgency of growing the solar industry themselves; nearly half (49%) of Americans currently considering solar power options for their home or business plan to make a decision in less than one year.
"For the third consecutive year, the SCHOTT Solar Barometer highlights Americans' wide and growing support for solar energy," said Dr. Gerald Fine, president and CEO of SCHOTT North America. "We’re dedicated to delivering clean reliable energy and have created hundreds of green jobs manufacturing solar products here in the U.S. These findings show that the vast majority of Americans share our goal of promoting and growing the new green industry in the U.S."
"The message from the public is very clear: We want more solar energy! According to this poll, solar energy is more popular than puppy dogs or ice cream. It is time for policymakers to listen to their constituents and enact measures to rapidly increase our use of solar," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "As we debate many crucial social and economic issues during this midterm election, lawmakers should consider solar, not as an issue, but as an industry they can count on to create jobs, improve U.S. competitiveness, bolster our national security and reduce harmful pollution. It’s time for Congress to see what most Americans already see; that solar is working for America today."
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When asked to choose one energy source to financially support if they were President, 45% of Americans would opt for solar over other sources such as wind (19%), natural gas (12%), nuclear (12%) and coal (2%).
Americans also understand the growing impact the solar industry is having on the U.S. economy and job creation. More than half (51%) of Americans said they would choose a job in the solar industry if they were to start working in the renewable energy sector. This was more than wind (20%), geothermal (9%), biofuels (9%) or hydropower (8%).
Nearly half (49%) of Americans indicated they would be willing to pay more for solar energy. In fact, the cost of solar is already on par with traditional fossil fuel options in several markets, and continues to drop as the industry scales up.
The SCHOTT Solar Barometer Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between September 27 and October 4, 2010 using an email invitation and an online survey. SCHOTT Solar and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) commissioned the survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
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