Poll: 89% of Americans think it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar energy; 82% support federal tax credits, grants for solar industry

WASHINGTON , November 1, 2011 (press release) – Survey by Kelton Research finds continued widespread public support for development of solar energy, federal incentives for solar, across political spectrum.

Americans overwhelmingly support the use and development of solar energy as well as federal incentives for solar, according to the 2011 SCHOTT Solar Barometer™, a nationally representative survey conducted annually by independent polling firm Kelton Research.

For the fourth consecutive year, the survey found that about nine out of 10 Americans (89 percent) think it is important for the United States to develop and use solar energy. Support for solar is strong across the political spectrum with 80 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Independents and 94 percent of Democrats agreeing that it is important for the United States to develop and use solar.

The survey also found that 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. Seventy-one percent of Republicans agree, as well as 82 percent of Independents and 87 percent of Democrats.

"It's clear that solar has the strong support of the American people," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "Now it needs the support of U.S. policymakers in extending job-creating policies like the 1603 Treasury Program to make sure solar continues to work for America."

Furthermore, 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).

"The fourth annual Solar Barometer shows that Americans overwhelmingly understand the benefits of solar energy for our country," said Tom Hecht, President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development, SCHOTT Solar PV, Inc.

Eight out of 10 Americans (82 percent) think it is important for the federal government to support U.S. solar manufacturing, according to the poll. Also, a majority of Americans (51 percent) said they would be more likely to purchase a product if they knew it was made using solar energy.

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