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Solar Power Big Winner in Consumer Survey

William Opalka

NavcleanSolar power is viewed favorably by nearly 80 percent of Americans in a recent survey by Navigant Research, rebounding to a level not seen in nearly five years.

Positive impressions for solar energy have now reached 79 percent of Americans – a level close to the results of 2009, when 81 percent of the respondents had a favorable view of solar energy.

Overall, favorable sentiments toward clean energy has returned following a steady decline over the past four years.

Navigant Research conducted a consumer survey of 1,084 US adults during the third quarter of 2013. The survey included questions on a variety of energy topics, as well as a thorough examination of consumer demand for electric vehicles and smart grid technologies.

In the survey, wind energy followed with a 72 percent favorability rating.

Notable in the 2013 survey was the increase in favorable views of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrid vehicles (67 percent), electric cars (61 percent), and natural gas vehicles (56 percent).

LEED certification showed the least level of favorability (22 percent), largely due to low awareness of the topic.

Nuclear power had the most unfavorable rating among respondents (32 percent), followed by electric cars. All other energy and environment concepts had negative favorability below 10 percent.

The average favorability rating for the 10 concepts, which fall under the categories of clean energy, clean transportation, smart grid, and building efficiency, also rose, to 51 percent, the highest level seen in Navigant Research’s survey since 2010.



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