Poll: Vast majority of Americans believe in development, use of solar energy

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Americans overwhelmingly believe that the nation should develop and use solar energy and that the federal government should make solar power a national priority, according to a new poll. The Schott Solar Barometer survey finds almost half of all Americans are thinking about solar power as an option for their homes or businesses and cite solar as their top choice among energy sources.

The national poll, conducted for Schott (and cosponsor, the Solar Energy Industries Assn.) by independent firm for Kelton Research, found 92% of those surveyed think it is important for the nation to develop and use solar energy, a result that was consistent across all political party affiliations. A large plurality of those Americans polled–77% of Americans–believe the federal government should make solar power development a national priority, including providing the financial support needed.

In addition to the 49% of respondents considering solar for their home or business, 43% rate solar as their top choice for energy, far outpacing wind (17%), natural gas (12%), nuclear (10%), and other sources. Among those who would like to have solar installed, 70% want to make the change within the next five years.

Despite the enthusiasm for solar, most of those surveyed feel they aren’t that knowledgable on the subject: only 12% say they’re extremely informed about the subject of solar power in general. Some 74% of the Americans polled admit they would like to know more about solar power options for their home or business.
 
“With controversial debates happening all over America, this isn’t one of them,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president/CEO. “Americans overwhelmingly want clean, reliable solar energy for their homes and businesses. It’s now time for Congress to listen to the American public and prioritize the use of solar in upcoming energy legislation. By expanding the U.S. market for solar, Congress will reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs in all 50 states.”
 
The poll was conducted between Aug. 31 and Sept. 8 using an email invitation and an online survey, and showed a 3.1% sampling variation. Results for the recent survey largely mirrored the findings of the previous year’s poll, with only a few percentage points of difference.

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