3 out of 4 Americans Approve of Solar Energy Development on Public Lands

The poll was conducted by Gotham Research Group. "This polling data confirms what we already knew," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. "The American public overwhelmingly supports the development of solar energy. It is time for our elected officials to respond to this high public demand and enact policies that allow solar to compete with other energy sources on a level playing field."

The survey also revealed that solar power was the top choice (38 percent) as the best use of public land. Respondents also selected solar farms and wind power (22 percent each) as the top energy sources that the government should prioritize for support, beating out natural gas (16 percent), nuclear (16 percent), oil (11 percent) and coal (4 percent).

The outlook for utility-scale solar in the U.S. is promising. Five new plants came online in 2009 (total 58 MW) and there are more than 100 utility-scale solar projects under development. These projects represent more than 17 gigawatts of capacity, enough to provide clean power to 3.4 million households and will create more than 100,000 American jobs.

"We expect a banner year for 2010, with more than 200 megawatts of utility-scale projects coming online," added Resch.

The findings of the survey are based on polling conducted from February 24 through February 26, 2010 among a representative sample of 500 U.S. adults, age 18+. The margin of error on the total sample of 500 is +/- 4.4 percent.

Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 members to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.