Even though it appears that members of US Congress are still divided on the issue of whether to extend federal tax incentives for renewable energy, the same can’t be said for their constituents.
According to a new national poll commissioned by research and advisory firm Clean Edge and renewable energy provider SolarCity, 74% of Americans polled were in favour of extending federal tax incentives that would help grow the renewable energy market in the U.S.
The report, conducted by national polling firm Zogby Analytics, revealed that a wide swath of Americans support the continuation of these tax incentives, including 82% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 72% of Independents.
As a whole, 87% of Americans noted that renewable energy is integral to the country’s future, with solar (50%) taking the top spot in terms of which energy source would be the most important for the nation going forward. Other sources of energy in the poll included wind (42%), natural gas (33%), energy efficiency (25%), nuclear power (14%) and coal (8%).
Solar was the most popular choice amongst many demographics, including Democrats, Republicans, Independents, conservatives, liberals, city and rural dwellers, the elderly and younger generations.
Ron Pernick, Clean Edge managing director and report author, said: “There’s a misconception that the nation is divided on its attitudes toward clean energy, but our research shows this to be false. There is broad support for renewables across the political spectrum. Opposition to solar fees charged by utilities, for example, is higher among Republicans (66%) than Democrats (53%).”
Other key takeaways from the poll include new trends on how Americans plan on weighing potential investments. According to the poll, 52% of Americans will consider social/environmental impact before making investments, with 74% acknowledging that these investments would be a lot more appealing if they offered a “potentially higher return than other options.”
Support for both natural gas and nuclear power has also dropped amongst younger generations. While 40% of Americans over the age of 70 support natural gas, just 27% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 support the same energy source. In terms of nuclear power , just 8% of Americans aged 25-34 support it, while only 1% of Americans aged 18-24 are in favor of it.
Over 1,400 U.S. homeowners participated in the poll conducted by Zogby Analytics. The margin of error for the surveys is +/- 2.7 percentage points.
Article published on http://www.pv-tech.org/, April 8, 2015.