Monday, February 27, 2012

Consumer support for clean energy has declined significantly since 2009

BOULDER, USA: The clean energy industry is dynamic and evolving, as the future of energy in the United States continues to be a topic of intense focus, particularly in this election year. However, according to a new survey from Pike Research, consumer support for clean energy concepts – ranging from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles to smart grid technologies – has declined significantly between 2009 and 2011.

In a survey of more than 1,000 US adults conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, the cleantech market intelligence firm found that the average percentage of consumers with an “extremely” or “very” favorable view of 13 clean energy concepts declined significantly from 50 percent in 2009 to 45 percent in 2010, and dropped further to 43 percent in 2011. The survey results, part of Pike Research’s annual Energy & Environment Consumer Survey, are summarized in a free white paper.

Among the 13 clean energy concepts, Biofuels suffered the most precipitous decline in favorability, dropping 17 points from 56 percent in the 2009 edition of Pike Research’s survey to 39 percent by 2011. Favorability ratings of Smart Grid and Clean Coal were tied for the second largest decline, each falling 10 points over the two-year period.

The percentages of survey respondents stating that they had either a “very favorable” or “favorable” view for each of the 13 concepts in 2011 were as follows:

Solar Energy: 77 percent
Wind Energy: 71 percent
Hybrid Vehicles: 61 percent
Electric Cars: 55 percent
Natural Gas Cars: 51 percent
Clean Coal: 42 percent
Nuclear Power: 40 percent
Biofuels: 39 percent
Smart Meters: 38 percent
Smart Grid: 37 percent
Carbon Offsets/Credits: 19 percent
LEED Certification: 18 percent
Cap and Trade: 14 percent.

Carbon Offsets/Credits garnered the largest percentage of “strongly unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” views from survey participants, with a 25 percent unfavorable rating, followed closely by Nuclear Power with a 23 percent unfavorable rating and Cap and Trade with a 22 percent unfavorable rating.

LEED Certification, the green building certification program administered by the US Green Building Council, suffered from a very low level of familiarity among respondents – 45 percent stated that they were unfamiliar with the program, the lowest level of familiarity of any of the 13 energy and environment concepts.

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