There seems to be something inherent in the American spirit that causes people to staunchly take one side or the other on an issue — whether it’s that The Dress is blue and black or white and gold, choosing Coke over Pepsi, or something more serious like immigration, Americans are squarely divided by many things. Here’s one thing they aren’t: renewable energy.
Though renewable energy falls within the realm of environmentalism which does divide so many Americans — on matters of climate change, for example — nine in 10 Americans say that renewable energy is important for the United States’ future.
The Huffington Post recently conducted their second annual survey that gathers information about homeowners’ attitudes about clean energy. What they found is that almost 90% of Americans say that resources like wind and solar energy are important.
The Post also asked respondents to rank the top three resources that they thought to be most important. Solar ranked highest at 50%, followed by wind at 42%, followed by natural gas at 33% and energy efficiency at 25%.
These findings might come as a surprise to some, but they actually align with those concluded by a recent Gallup poll. The Gallup poll asked a different question, but the results don’t conflict with the Post’s finding at all.
The poll asked respondents to evaluate whether the U.S. should place more, less, or the same emphasis on things like solar energy, wind, natural gas, oil, nuclear power, and coal. The top three responses in this survey were solar energy, wind, and natural gas.
“This is an exciting time for renewables, and solar energy in particular,” says Aaron Katz, CEO, Bright Planet Solar. “What’s happening with renewable energy is similar in a lot of ways to what happened to the automobile almost a century ago. You’re seeing the entire infrastructure of the country change to accommodate this new technology, only unlike the car, it’s actually good for the planet.”
Experts say that there could be a solar system set up in America every 80 seconds by 2016. Part of this is due to the fact that solar PV panels are becoming less expensive; the average price for solar PV panels has dropped by 63% over the last five years. Additionally, there are solar incentives and rebates for homeowners who equip their homes with the technology.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that solar power will be used in nearly one million homes by 2020.