2011 SCHOTT Solar Barometer

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

According to a new survey conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of SCHOTT Solar and the Solar Energy Industries AssociationTM (SEIATM), if Americans were in charge of the country’s energy policy, solar once again tops the list of energy sources that they would choose to support. In fact, a majority of Americans believe that the government should give federal subsidies to solar energy, similar to those currently awarded to traditional sources of energy. And many would be more likely to buy a product if they knew it was made using solar energy.


Strong Support for Solar Energy. An overwhelming majority of Americans think it’s important for the U.S. to develop and use solar power. This has been consistent over the last four years (89 percent in 2011; 94 percent in 2010; 92 percent in 2009 and 94 percent in 2008) the survey has been conducted.

Ninety-four percent of Democrats think it’s imperative for the United States to advance and utilize solar power, compared to 90 percent of Independents and 80 percent of Republicans.

Solar is Top Energy Choice. Americans would choose to provide financial support to solar energy (39%) more so than any other energy source if they were in charge of the United States Energy Policy.

More Americans ages 18-44 than those 45 years and older (43% vs. 35%) would financially back solar energy if they were responsible of United States energy policy.

More Americans who identify as Democrats than those who are Republicans (43% vs. 26%) would give monetary support to solar energy if they were in charge of the country’s energy plan.

After-Thoughts. That’s more than those who would consider backing more traditional energy sources, such as natural gas (21%), nuclear (9%) or coal (3%).

Support for Solar Manufacturing. In fact, more than eight in ten (82%) Americans believe it’s vital that the federal government should support U.S. solar manufacturing right now.

Eighty-six percent of Americans ages 18-44 think it is essential that the U.S. government support solar manufacturing in the states sooner than later, compared to 77 percent of Americans 45+.

And 51 percent of Americans who identify as Independent believe it’s extremely important for the government to fund solar manufacturing in our country, compared to 43 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of Republicans.

Funding for Subsidies. Perhaps understanding the importance of giving solar power more government attention is why a majority (82%) of Americans are more likely to support federal subsidies, such as tax credits and grants, for solar energy that are currently given to other sources of power, such as coal and oil.

Eighty-seven percent of Democrats would grant subsidies for solar energy that is currently awarded to traditional sources of energy, compared to 82 percent of Independents and 71 percent of Republicans.

Download full version (PDF): Solar Barometer 2011 Survey

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