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

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.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



Evaluating the Case for Module-Level Shutdown

Hannes Knopf With 2014 NEC adoption in full swing, many are anticipating what the next version of the code will hold for the PV in...

A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

Listen Up: Can I Get Solar if my Roof is Shaded?

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World Rooftop solar panels only work when they are in direct sunlight. So if you have a partially shaded roof, the output o...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

PRESS RELEASES Welcomes Jennifer Delony as Associate Editor

PennWell Corporation is pleased to announce that Jennifer Delony has joined the company...

Customized Energy Solutions Executes Agreement with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (“MassCEC”) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) for Important Energy Storage Study

Customized Energy Solutions (CES) has entered into agreements with Massachusetts Clean ...

CleanTX Releases New White Paper on the Future of Texas Solar in Texas

We love this new White Paper from our clean energy partners CleanTX

Sun Xtender® Launches New Website at

The newly designed website for Sun Xtender solar batteries is now live on the World Wid...


energy efficiency

Beyond the Trend: Maximizing the Impact of Your Energy Efficiency Solution

A revolution is happening in the energy sector. From the new regulations pushed out earlier this summer by the EPA’s ...

Northeast States Create Cap-and-Trade Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Northeast states have worked together for several decades to address air quality issues and, more recently, climate c...

Why the Solar PV Industry Should Love Geothermal Heat Pumps Pt 2

It’s a marriage made in heaven: Solar PV and Geothermal Heat Pumps Part 2 of a 6-Part Series Prevailing Heati...

Park District Goes Solar, Saves Big While Preserving Open Space

Not only do community parks provide green space for recreation and leisure, they also increase property values, attra...


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.


Volume 18, Issue 4


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


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Power Asset Management and Performance

SEIA and SEPA collaborated with industry leaders to present the first ev...

Solar Power Northeast

  From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sol...


Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar fina...

Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar financing...

10 Questions You Should Be Asking

Tony Robbins is fond of saying that the quality of your life is directly...

Join us at the New Solar Power Northeast

From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sold out P...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now