The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Solyndra Has No Impact on US Public Support for Solar

The media feeding frenzy over government support for now-bankrupt Solyndra has had no apparent impact on public impressions of solar energy or even of government support for solar, says a new poll from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Hart Research.

“Despite a news environment that has not always been friendly, it has not inflicted any real drop in solar energy’s measure of public support,” said Hart senior analyst Molly O’Rourke in an online conference to announce the findings.  “We got an array of very favorable findings, broad support and breadth of constituency.” 

Of 1,206 “likely” voters surveyed online nationwide between September 4 and 9, 92% said it was very or somewhat important for the U.S. to develop and use solar.  The percentage was 93% among the survey’s swing voters, which constituted its majority (762) and were defined as “ticket-splitters or who vote for candidates of either party.” 

Solar energy rated favorable by large majorities, regardless of political affiliation, with 94% of Democrats, 89% of independents and 75% of Republicans in support of it.

“On the eve of the first presidential debate, public support for solar energy has never been stronger. Nine out of 10 Americans surveyed feel the US should develop and use more solar power,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO, in an online conference to announce the findings. “We were joking in the office that we couldn’t think of anything that had more support, and we looked—baseball, apple pie and chocolate—but nothing was more popular!” he quipped.

Furthermore, O’Rourke said, unlike other sectors with favorable public ratings, approval of solar translates into a feeling that government should do more to encourage its growth, with 7 in 10 of all voters surveyed saying so.  Slightly more swing voters, 72%, think government should do more as well.  Even 50% of Republicans agreed. 

Specifically, survey respondents, by a margin of 4 to 1, said they want the government to support solar with tax credits and other financial incentives.  “What is so impressive is that a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree on this issue as a being a specific role for government,” O’Rourke said.  The breakdown was 91% of Democrats, 78% of independents and 63% of Republicans.

The only negative points survey respondents raised about solar energy were high cost and practicality.  “The strengths and advantages of solar far outweighed the concerns for voters,” O’Rourke said.  Resch noted that consumer public opinion is likely lagging a bit behind the market reality, as the cost of installing solar came down 33% in the second quarter.  Large commercial users of solar, such as Walmart, for example, he said, are convinced.  “Walmart is number one, with 65 MW installed, and intends to install solar in many more locations,” he said.

Of the 1200 respondents, 42% identified themselves as Democrats, 37% as Republicans and 21% as independents with no party affiliation. 

Lead image: Views of people in a group via Shutterstock.

RELATED ARTICLES

Graphene for solar cells

Strengthening Solar Cell Performance with Graphene

Roni Peleg, Contributor Graphene is a nanomaterial that has been attracting a remarkable amount of interest as a potential game changer for various applications, from energy storage to flexible transparent displays. Graphene is basically a ho...

How New York is Using Local Power & Microgrids To Transform the State

Roy Hales, Contributor New York’s antiquated infrastructure was in trouble long before hurricane Sandy. The bulk power system, designed to meet a peak demand 75 percent higher than most of America, is underutilized most of the day. New Yorkers ha...

Listen Up: Charging Your Electric Vehicle

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World Electric vehicles are great: they’re affordable, great for the environment and low maintenance. And where electric rates are low — or if you have rooftop solar power — EVs are cheaper to drive per mile than gas-powered cars...
Google

Greenpeace Raises Pressure on Internet Companies to Go Renewable

Andrew Burger, Contributor For at least four years, Greenpeace has been raising public awareness and putting pressure on the world's largest data and cloud computing center providers to fuel their operations with clean, renewable power. In May, Green...
Marsha W. Johnston is a freelance writer based in the DC area, specializing in all areas of sustainable development, from renewable energy to agriculture and wildlife conservation.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Training: Preparing for Rule 21 - SPI 2015

What: Rule 21 Training When: September 16th @ 4:30-5:30pm Wher...

Training: NEC 2014, AFDI, & Rapid Shutdown - SPI 2015

What: NEC 2014, AFDI, & Rapid Shutdown When: September 15t...

ImagineSolar | Advanced Online: Solar PV System Design & NABCEP Exa...

Advanced Online Solar PV System Design & NABCEP Exam Prep $695 &ndas...

COMPANY BLOGS

Switch-Tasking

True productivity requires uninterrupted focus. In this era of emails, t...

The Almost There Markets: Just Give ‘Em Some Time

Earlier this year, we reported on recent legalization of third party fin...

Managing Customers As Investments

If you’ve attended any of my efficiency-focused professional sales...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS