• Do Americans Support Clean Energy?

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Do Americans Support Clean Energy?

Feb 10 2017

Americans took to the polls on November 8th 2016, to vote for their new president. The result? I think we’re all aware of that. But despite voting in a man who rejects the scientific evidence of climate change, there is still a lot of variance when it comes to the American public opinion on renewable energy. So how exactly do the people of the US feel about cleaning up their energy?

More accessible than ever

There’s no doubt about it. Wind and solar power is becoming more accessible and less expensive as time goes on. And while Trump is set on the development of oil pipelines and coal burning, Americans seem to be in favour of the cleaner methods. A study by Pew Research surveyed 1,502 Americans from a mixture of backgrounds and political persuasions to find their opinions on a variety of topics.

One of the findings was the percentage of adults who think renewable energy should be prioritised to address America’s energy supply versus those who think oil, coal and natural gas should be expanded. Pew found that 65 percent would prioritise alternative sources including wind and solar, while just 27 percent chose oil, coal and gas with the remaining 8 percent choosing both or don’t know.

Breaking it down

Compared to previous years, the proportion of support for alternatives has actually grown. It reached a recent low in 2012, when just 47 percent of respondents said the US should prioritise alternatives, but has been consistently above oil, coal and gas since 2011, when the split was 63-29.

The survey also found that the more liberal voters are the more likely they are to support alternative energy and displayed a link between age and energy prioritisation preferences. 73 percent of 18-49-year-old respondents said they supported alternative energy, while just 55 percent of those over 50 said the same.

The solution

With Donald Trump asserting his ‘government of the people’ agenda, it seems like a good time for him to listen to the US public. More research into alternative energy means renewables are becoming more of an appealing option, both economically and of course environmentally. ‘Thriving in the Renewable Energy Economy’ looks at how big industry players can take advantage of this changing energy landscape to benefit themselves as well as the environment.

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