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Consumers favor solar, wind energy

The future of the U.S. energy supply is a topic of fierce debate in the political and business arenas, and consumer opinion is a vital component of the broader discussion about the pros and cons of various paths toward a clean energy future. According to a new survey from Pike Research, consumer support for renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, is extremely high.

In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, the cleantech market intelligence firm found that 79 percent of consumers have a favorable view of solar energy, and 75 percent have a favorable view of wind energy. In terms of overall support, these were the top two highest ranked areas in a survey that asked consumers about their views on 12 energy and environmental concepts. The results are summarized in a free white paper, which is available for download on Pike Research’s website, www.pikeresearch.com.

The percentages of survey respondents stating that they had either a “very favorable” or “favorable” view for each of the 12 concepts were as follows:

• Solar Energy:  79 percent
• Wind Energy:  75 percent
• Hybrid Vehicles:  64 percent
• Electric Cars:  57 percent
• Biofuels:  47 percent
• Clean Coal:  47 percent
• Nuclear Power:  42 percent
• Smart Meters:  37 percent
• Smart Grid:  37 percent
• Carbon Offsets/Credits:  24 percent
• LEED Certification:  19 percent
• Cap and Trade:  15 percent

Cap and Trade and Nuclear Power were tied in terms of the largest percentage of “strongly unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” views from survey participants, each with a 19 percent unfavorable rating, followed closely by Carbon Offsets/Credits with 18 percent.

LEED Certification, the green building certification program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, suffered from a very low level of familiarity among respondents. Fifty-three percent stated that they were unfamiliar with the program, the lowest level of familiarity of any of the 12 energy and environment concepts.


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