Voters overwhelmingly support more solar energy, will oppose candidates that are anti-solar, industr
Overwhelming majorities of both Republican and Democratic registered voters want their utility companies to get more power from solar and wind energy, according to a new survey released Monday during the first day of the Solar Power International conference in Anaheim.
Survey respondents from across the nation indicated widespread appeal of solar energy, saying they agree with net metering and renewable energy portfolios of at least 50 percent by 2030.
Of the registered voters polled, 76 percent supported more solar while 71 percent wanted more wind power from utilities to create electricity that is cleaner, contributes far less to global climate change and creates jobs.
Nine out of 10 respondents also said that their power company should not be able to stop them from using solar energy.
“Democrats, Republicans and Independents all said, everything being equal, they would vote against a politician who opposed solar power,” said Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper in a prepared statement. “Politicians can take this to the bank – Americans will not stand for government or company policies that prevent them from accessing clean, renewable, job-producing, affordable power.”
Global Strategy Group conducted the online national survey of 750 registered voters and 480 opinion leaders between Aug. 27 and Sept. 4 at the behest of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national trade group. The New York-based firm has done polling for General Electric, Conde Nast, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, United Way and Democratic candidates.
The fresh polling showed the strongest support from younger voters, men and Latinos and also from opinion leaders. The most convincing arguments were that solar emits less emissions that contribute to air pollution and global warming and creates economic growth, the SEIA reported on Monday.
A majority of Republicans, about 53 percent, and three-fourths of Democratic voters, 76 percent, said they would vote against anti-solar candidates. The intensity rose with Latinos and with those who know someone with solar panels.
Respondents were mixed on the question of affordability. A small majority said solar is affordable but “sentiments on costs are mixed, with some people believing that solar is already cheap, and others that it remains expensive,” according to the survey findings.
Some other survey questions asked of registered voters and the accompanying results:
Q: The only thing holding us back from using much more solar power are big energy companies: Total Agree: 68 percent.
Q: Our government should be doing more to encourage the use of solar power: Total Agree: 79 percent.
Q: I trust my electric utility to offer the best products at the best prices possible: Total Agree: 54 percent.
Q: I am interested in installing solar panels on my home: Total Agree: 55 percent