The popularity of solar power has increased in the United States during the past few years. A 2012 study by the Hart Research shows 9 out of 10 voters believe it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar power.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar is favorably viewed by nearly everyone in the U.S., regardless of political party affiliation or demographics.
The study found Democrats in the lead in terms of group that favor solar the most with 94 percent viewing solar positively. Next were Independents with 89 percent holding a favorable view of solar. A large majority of Republicans – 75 percent – also favor solar.
Coal & oil not popular
According to the study, solar was much more popular among the American public than coal and oil.
Additionally, 64 percent of voters surveyed indicated they believe the federal government should support and encourage solar energy through tax subsidies and other financial incentives. Oil and coal were at the bottom with 13 percent and 8 percent respectively.
The study showed that about 59 percent of swing voters and 58 percent of all voters consider solar very important, when asked how important they thought it is for the U.S. to develop and use solar power.
Only 7 percent of swing voters and 8 percent of all voters surveyed responded that solar power was not important for the U.S. to develop.
Broad agreement on solar
According to the SEIA, most voters express broad agreement that solar development is an appropriate and desired investment for government. These results hold up across age, education and racial boundaries.
However, the study also shows some voter reservations about solar energy with these primarily centered on affordability and practicality. Many of those surveyed agreed solar power is too expensive for most consumers; others said they felt that solar power is not practical in many areas of the country.
Given these results, the SEIA notes that, “Communicating the increased affordability and efficiency of solar power is critical in addressing these concerns” and in growing solar in the U.S.
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