Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Almost 90% of Americans think it's important the US develop and use solar energy, while more than 80% support federal tax credits and grants for the solar industry. More than half said they would pay more for products made using solar power. So what's up in Congress?

Clean Power

90% of Americans Support Solar Power, Industry Development; So What’s Up with Congress?

Almost 90% of Americans think it’s important the US develop and use solar energy, while more than 80% support federal tax credits and grants for the solar industry. More than half said they would pay more for products made using solar power. So what’s up in Congress?

Infographic courtesy of SCHOTT N.A.


A nationwide poll conducted by Kelton Research showed that just shy of 9 out of 10 Americans (89 percent) think it’s important for the United States to develop and use solar energy. Breaking the results out along voting lines, 80 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Independents and 94 percent of Democrats agreed with the above. This is the fourth straight year Kelton’s survey results showed nearly 90% of Americans support developing solar energy.

Results also showed that Americans support federal incentives to do so. More than eight of ten (82 percent) support federal tax credits and grants for the solar industry, just like those that continue to benefit companies in the all too well established oil & gas and coal industries. Seventy-one percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Independents and 87 percent of Democrats responding to the poll agreed.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they would choose to financially support solar energy over other energy sources such as natural gas (21 percent), wind (12 percent), nuclear (nine percent), and coal (three percent). Solar energy is more than twice as popular as any other energy source among Independents – 43 percent vs. 20 percent for natural gas.

Moreover, support for solar energy remains strong despite all the recent media and Congressional attention devoted to the bankruptcy of Solyndra, Kelton found.

Eight out of ten (82 percent) of Americans think it’s important for the federal government to support US solar manufacturing, and a majority of Independent voters (51 percent) think it’s “extremely important.”

The American economy has evolved into one built on consumption, and Kelton found that 51 percent of Americans would be more likely to purchase a product if they knew that it was made using solar power. At 61 percent, consumers in the key 18-44 year old age group were even more likely to do so.

A Win-Win Situation

Solar leasing programs are making big strides in educating consumers and making it more affordable to buy solar power, but cost, along with consumer education, remain the biggest hurdles. Forty-eight percent of Americans cited costs as their biggest concern with purchasing a solar energy system despite the cost of solar panels dropping 30 percent since the beginning of 2010 and the introduction of solar leasing programs.

“In this tough economy, Americans want to see solutions coming from Washington,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “For members of Congress trying to find ways to create jobs, solar is a win-win.

“Thanks in part to proven policy successes like the 1603 Treasury Program, the solar industry has doubled its workforce in the last two years and now employs more than 100,000 Americans at 5,000 businesses spanning every state. And solar enjoys overwhelming support across all political affiliations – Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

“It’s clear that solar has the strong support of the American people. Now it needs the support of U.S. policymakers in extending job-creating policies like the 1603 program to make sure solar continues to work for America.”

So What’s Up in Washington, D.C.?

Kelton’s poll results, which are included in the 2011 SCHOTT Solar Barometer released yesterday, clearly indicate the breadth and strength of support for developing solar power across the US populace.

So what’s up with the elected leaders of our national government in Congress? Why is it that opposition to instituting longer lasting solar industry support and incentives, such as investment and production tax credits and the Treasury 1603 program, continues in the face of such broad public support?

The answers aren’t pretty, particularly as to its reflection on state of the American democratic republic. They’re a cause for ever more widespread cynicism, which has been defined as ‘spiritual death.’ A direct, causal link between the answers and the growing “Occupy,” or “The Other 99%” movement may also be inferred.

They’re yet another sign that our elected representatives are bought and paid for by corporate and external organizational and institutional interests.

We elect them based on their campaign promises, records and backgrounds, but it’s clear that US elected representatives, once ensconced in their offices and in Washington D.C., don’t believe it’s necessary to respond to the will of the broad public even when it is so unified. Other influences apparently prompt them to act otherwise.

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Power

Today, US Solar announced the groundbreaking of USS Giveback, its first Community Solar Gardens with Black Hills Energy in Pueblo, Colorado. With enough capacity...

Clean Power

This is the first installment of a three-part series on community solar for low- and moderate-income costumers. The next piece will focus on how...

Clean Power

SOLV Energy and Solar Energy International (SEI) announced [last week] their partnership to create the SEI Women in Solar program to empower women and non-binary...

Clean Power

As the latest IPCC report notes, cities will play a critical role in climate action over the next decade, and many challenges and opportunities for...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.