Survey finds American's favor renewable energy, though are confused as to the options available.
A new election survey on solar power and clean energy carried out by Ipsos on behalf of Sungevity has uncovered that nine in ten, or 89 percent, of U.S. adults agree that renewable energy sources, and in particular solar power, should form a larger part of America’s energy supply both now and in the future.
Renewable energy is a hot button topic in the US right now as Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the Democrat incumbent President Barack Obama fight it out on the world stage for the presidency. The Republicans have long taken a neutral or negative stance over renewable energy’s position in the future of America, preferring to lend tax incentives and federal funding to fossil fuel projects. The Democrats, meanwhile, have championed lowing dependence on oil and petroleum imports and have already followed through on a promise to double renewable wind, solar and geothermal energy since Obama rose to office in 2008.
The survey from Ipsos shows that the American people believe in solar energy and expect their politicians to as well: when asked whether they expected their elected officials to support solar initiatives, 80 percent of respondents said they absolutely did. Even more revealing was the 81 percent who said that, regardless of whether Romney or Obama takes residency in the Oval Office this November, they want the White House and other federal and state properties to use solar energy as their main source of power.
Taking it out of the political arena, many respondents to the survey were said to be positive of the economic and environmental benefits to renewable energies and their wider adoption across the United States – a cool 81 percent already see reducing our dependency on fossil fuels as the only sensible way forward for the environment, our health and the health of the economy.
In fact, the economy and personal wealth were the most popular reasons cited behind renewable energy support among respondents. Seven in ten said they expected jobs created by a move towards more solar, wind and wave power will improve our economy while 60 percent said that they would like to see household bills reduced and their home valued increased (12 percent) by a more renewable America.
Unfortunately many Americans still view installing solar power in their own homes as being more trouble than it’s worth. Nearly half of those surveyed said they felt apprehensive about using solar power due to the annoyance of having to update electrical systems and deal with zoning laws. Another 48 percent of respondents said that they were confused about their options when it came to solar energy.
“The survey makes it clear that solar companies must do a better job communicating how easy and affordable it is to incorporate solar power into your home,” said Danny Kennedy, co-founder of Sungevity.
The survey certainly shines a light on America’s attitude towards renewable energy sources at a time when they are voting for a new president who could make or break the US’s prospects for a greener future. It remains to be seen whether the growing popularity of solar power will have any impact on the administration of the incoming government.
Jessica is a firm believer in solar power and green energy. She writes on renewable energy issues from how to achieve sustainable living at home to implementing green energy strategies on a larger scale. Jessica works in the renewables industry for Solar Contact, a company which sources solar installers.