75% of Consumers Have a Favorable View of Solar Power and Wind Energy

The future of the U.S. energy supply is a topic of fierce debate in the political and business arenas, and consumer opinion is a vital component of the broader discussion about the pros and cons of various paths toward a clean energy future.

According to a new survey from Pike Research, consumer support for renewable energy sources, such as solar energy and wind power, is extremely high. In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, the cleantech market intelligence firm found that 79% of consumers have a favorable view of solar energy, and 75% have a favorable view of wind energy – in terms of overall support, these were the top two highest ranked areas in a survey that asked consumers about their views on 12 energy and environmental concepts. The results are summarized in a free white paper, which is available for download on Pike Research’s website.

The percentages of survey respondents stating that they had either a “very favorable” or “favorable” view for each of the 12 concepts were as follows:

* Solar Energy: 79%
* Wind Energy: 75%
* Electric Vehicles: 64%
* Electric Cars: 57%
* Biofuels: 47%
* Clean Coal: 47%
* Nuclear Power: 42%
* Smart Meters: 37%
* Smart Grid: 37%
* Carbon Offsets/Credits: 24%
* LEED Certification: 19%
* Cap and Trade: 15%

Cap and Trade and Nuclear Power were tied in terms of the largest percentage of “strongly unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” views from survey participants, each with a 19% unfavorable rating, followed closely by Carbon Offsets/Credits with 18%. LEED Certification, the green building certification program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, suffered from a very low level of familiarity among respondents – 53% stated that they were unfamiliar with the program, the lowest level of familiarity of any of the 12 energy and environment concepts.

Pike Research’s white paper, “Energy & Environment Consumer Survey”, analyzes consumer attitudes and awareness about 12 energy and environmental concepts. In addition to favorable and unfavorable opinions, the number of respondents unfamiliar with a concept is also considered to compare the level of consumer awareness within each topic. The study includes charts summarizing the survey results, along with commentary on notable trends and patterns for each area. A full copy of the white paper is available for free download on the firm’s website.