Solar is as popular as apple pie (but some people still prefer pecans) – pv magazine USA

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A study by the Pew Research Center found that solar has the strongest support among those surveyed. Splits have arisen when it comes to Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, not to mention the Republican-Democrat split.

The Pew Research Center has published its annual study of American perceptions on climate, energy and environmental issues. The report largely found bipartisan, Gen Z, and Millennial preferences for environmental activism.

He revealed that most Americans support an expansion in solar and wind generation, a cleaner environment for future generations, and affordable and locally available renewable energy and the jobs that go with it.

And, while support for solar and wind remains strong, support from some demographic groups has recently waned.

The report found that the expansion of solar and wind power is favored by a large majority of American adults. However, support for both the surge and the wind had been declining since last year’s poll (in which solar soared 90%).

The poll also found that support has increased for nuclear and fossil energy. Notably, 50% of the country’s population approved the expansion of nuclear power.

Party affiliation division

But these are only general figures. When Pew considered political leanings (Republican / Republican bent, Democrat / Democratic lean) and age (Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomers and up), clear lines emerged.

For example, Generation Z Democrats – at 60% – were 10 times more likely to favor a complete phase-out of fossil fuels than baby boomers and older Republicans, at 6%.

As you might expect, when it comes to phasing out gasoline and diesel cars, Gen Z was more than 5 times more likely to approve – at 73% – than older Republicans – at 14% . Even the statement that “the United States should prioritize development alternative energy– with which 71% of adults agreed – showed a difference in response of over 50% between the political left and right.

Here it may be interesting to note that while Millennials are the largest generation in the United States, the category “Boomers and up” actually spans three generations and was the largest group in the Pew survey. .

When it comes to solar and wind power specifically, a large majority of Americans “favor more,” according to the report. Solar topped the charts with over two-thirds of support across all ages and political groups. No other source of energy had such a high level of support.

However, Republican support for solar and wind has been declining since 2016, with a drop of 13 to 15 points in the past two years.

Research could not understand why the trend had occurred.

However, even with this decline, solar power still enjoys broad support on both sides of the political spectrum: about the same as apple pie (polls have been 92% agreeable in recent Crisco and American Pie Council surveys).

Unlike near universal support for solar power, the question of whether “tougher environmental laws and regulations” were worth the cost resulted in a clear partisan line. In total, 81% of Democrats thought it was worth it, while 71% of Republicans responded that the regulations were costing too many jobs and would hurt the economy.

Not in his garden

One telling point is that while nearly half of Americans said they think they are doing enough to tackle climate change, their views about other Americans are not so charitable. Of those polled, 66% said they think other Americans are not doing enough.

And, when it comes to the work environmental groups do, about the same percentage said advocates were doing too much as those who said they were doing too little.

Americans clearly seem to think politicians, energy companies, and big business need to do more.

When asked ‘what to do’, about half of respondents said major lifestyle changes will be needed to cope with the impact of climate change. The other half said that new technological developments are more likely to solve problems caused by climate change.

And there was wide disagreement over whether these actions should be motivated by government or by individual choice.

Of the many pieces of legislation proposed by President Biden, at least three have shown support, including among three-quarters of those polled who said they agreed with the requirement that electric utilities use more electricity. renewable energy sources.

A positive political feedback loop can be found here. First, Americans believe Biden’s infrastructure plan will generate clean energy jobs. Second, Americans seem to like the idea of ​​clean local energy jobs. And, finally, they prefer the clean energy that goes with the creation of these jobs.

This synergy is surely a recipe for deploying massive amounts of wind and solar power.

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