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New Poll Shows Nine Out of 10 Americans Support Solar

A new survey released today by independent polling firm Kelton Research, finds that nine out of 10 Americans (89 percent) think it is important for the United States to develop and use solar power. This and other findings in the 2011 SCHOTT Solar Barometer, reveal the widespread public support for development of solar energy, federal investments in solar, across political spectrum.

This was the fourth consecutive year that the survey has seen strong support for solar across the political spectrum with 90 percent of Independents, 80 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats agreeing that it is important for the United States to develop and use solar power.

Among other solar-related items important to Americans:

They want more federal investments in solar: More than eight out of 10 Americans (82 percent) support federal tax credits and grants for the solar industry similar to those that traditional sources of energy like oil, natural gas and coal have received for decades.  Almost three-quarters of Republicans agree (72 percent), as well as 87 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Independents.

They are open with their support: When asked to select an energy source they would financially support if they were in charge of U.S. energy policy, 39 percent of Americans chose solar over other sources such as natural gas (21 percent), wind (12 percent), nuclear (9 percent) and coal (3 percent).  Among Independents, solar is more than twice as popular as any other energy source (43 percent to 20 percent for natural gas).

The bankruptcy of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra has little affect: The vast majority of Americans support solar manufacturing in the United States.  Eight out of 10 (82 percent) think it is important for the federal government to support U.S. solar manufacturing, and a majority of Independent voters (51 percent) think it is “extremely important.”

Americans are “pro-solar”: The poll also found that Americans prefer to buy solar-made products.  A majority of Americans (51 percent) would be more likely to purchase a product if they knew it was made using solar energy.  Consumers in the key age demographic of 18 to 44 years old are even more likely to buy solar-made products (61 percent).

Yet even with the positivity surrounding solar, one challenge is clear: Education is needed.  Despite the cost of solar modules decreasing by 30 percent since the beginning of 2010 and residential solar leasing models that allow consumers to go solar with no upfront cost, 48 percent of Americans cited cost as their biggest concern with choosing solar energy. How to quell those concerns? Get your free customized solar savings report now.


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For Raina Brett Russo, taking care of the environment is a necessity, not an option. Having grown up in Israel, a place where conservation is required and solar hot water heating is the norm, Raina knows the importance of solar energy. Through her work with the EcoOutfitters.net team, Raina found a way to help grow the solar industry in a significant way. As the founder and host of #SolarChat, a bi-monthly "gathering" on Twitter, Raina and her team have created an engaged solar think-tank community that comes together regularly for collaboration and networking with the ultimate goal in mind of spreading the solar message.

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