Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Americans Overwhelmingly Believe Solar Energy is Important

Most Americans, whatever their political stance, believe it is important for the United States to develop and use solar energy -- 9 of out 10, in fact, according to a national survey reported recently by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). A whopping 89 percent think so. The survey, called the 2011 Schott Solar Barometer, was conducted by independent polling firm Kelton Research.

Support for solar is strong across political lines, the survey found, with 80 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Independents and 94 percent of Democrats agreeing it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar.

This is the fourth annual Solar Barometer, and all four reported that Americans favor solar power. What seems surprising this time, however, is that the polling was conducted after the Solyndra bankruptcy. “The failure of the solar startup may have been highly publicized and even more politicized, but Americans aren’t buying it,” reported the non-profit solar advocacy group The Vote Solar Initiative. “They see that solar represents a tremendous opportunity to improve our nation’s economy, environment and national security. And now is no time to back down.”

Continue reading on Examiner.com Americans overwhelmingly believe solar energy is important - Long Island Solar Energy | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/solar-energy-in-long-island/americans-overwhelmingly-believe-solar-energy-is-important#ixzz1rLyWxiPg

Other Survey Results

More than eight out of ten Americans want federal incentives for solar. Eighty-two percent support federal tax credits and grants for the solar industry similar to those that traditional sources of energy like oil, natural gas and coal have received for decades. Seventy-one percent of Republicans agree, as well as 82 percent of Independents and 87 percent of Democrats.

Also, more Americans chose solar than any other energy source when asked to select an energy source they would financially support if they were in charge of our nation’s energy policy. Specifically, 39 percent chose solar over other sources such as natural gas (21 percent), wind (12 per-cent), nuclear (9 percent) and coal (3 percent).

The poll also found that a majority of Americans (51 percent) said they would be more likely to purchase a product if they knew it was made using solar energy, and eight out of ten (82%) support U.S. solar manufacturing.

Cost Misconception
Interestingly, the poll also discovered that there is a major misconception that solar energy is costly. Despite the fact that the cost of solar modules have been decreasing over the past several years, and there is a double-digit return on investment, 48 percent of Americans cited cost as their biggest concern with choosing solar energy. On Long Island, residential solar energy systems take an average of just 4.5 years to pay back in light of currently generous LIPA cash rebates, New York state and federal tax credits.
“Prices for solar panels continue to decline and those who currently own solar systems are earning a strong return on their investment,” said Tom Hecht, president of Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Schott Solar PV, Inc.

SOURCE: http://www.examiner.com/solar-energy-in-long-island/americans-overwhelmingly-believe-solar-energy-is-important

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