94% of Americans Say Solar Energy Development Is Important

According to the recently released SCHOTT Solar Barometer report, a majority of Americans, across all political parties, overwhelmingly support development and funding of solar energy. Ninety-one percent of Republicans, 97 percent of Democrats and 98 percent of Independents agree that developing solar power is vital to the United States, the survey results said.

The survey revealed that 77 percent of Americans feel that the development of solar power and other renewable energy sources should be a major priority of the federal government. Independent voters felt strongest about this, compared to voters in other political parties, with 86 percent of Independents supporting the statement. When asked which one energy source they would support if they were President, 41 percent of Americans picked solar. Solar and wind together were favored nearly 20 times more than coal (3 percent).

According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of Republicans (72 percent), Democrats (72 percent) and Independents (74 percent) favor an extension of the federal investment tax credits (ITC) as a way to encourage development of solar power and fund continued development of the technology. In contrast, only 8 percent of Americans believe the ITC should not be extended.

“These results are an undeniable signal to our elected leaders that Americans want job-creating solar power, now,” said Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “The U.S. Senate has an opportunity to act decisively by passing the Renewable Energy & Job Creation Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049) this month. This is smart policy that will help solar become a powerful economic engine for the country, stabilize energy prices for consumers and businesses and improve America’s national energy security. A vote against this bill is a vote against what the vast majority of Americans are demanding.”

The SCHOTT Solar Barometer Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between May 29th and June 2nd, 2008 using an email invitation and an online survey. The Solar Energy Industry Alliance (SEIA) and SCHOTT Solar 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. 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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