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03/19/2010 12:41 PM     print story email story  

Solar Poll: Americans Want Development on Public Lands News

75% of Americans would like to see solar energy plants developed on public lands, according to a poll sponsored by the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The survey also revealed that solar power was the top choice (38%) as the best use of public land. Respondents also selected solar farms and wind power (22% each) as the top energy sources that the government should prioritize for support, beating out natural gas (16%), nuclear (16%), oil (11%) and coal (4%).

The poll was conducted by Gotham Research Group. Solar industry and environmental leaders, as well as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (AZ) and pollster Jeff Levine joined SEIA President Rhone Resch on a call to discuss the results.

“The polling data we are releasing today confirms what we already knew,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “The American public overwhelming supports the development of solar energy. It is time for our elected officials to respond to this high public demand and enact policies that allow solar to compete with other energy sources on a level playing field.”

The industry leaders also discussed the promising outlook for utility-scale solar in the U.S. Five new pilot plants came on line in 2009 and there are more than 100 utility-scale solar projects under development. These projects represent more than 17 gigawatts of capacity, enough to provide clean power to 3.4 million households and to create more than 100,000 American jobs.

“With a successful 10 megawatt pilot project, more than 3,000 megawatts in the pipeline, and two recent PPAs with Nevada Energy and PG&E, we are primed for explosive growth in the United States, as is the entire utility-scale solar sector,” said Tom Georgis, Vice President, Development, SolarReserve. “This industry can provide clean solar power to millions of households while creating thousands of new green energy jobs."

The findings of the survey are based on polling conducted from February 24 through February 26, 2010, among a representative sample of 500 U.S. adults, age 18+. The margin of error on the total sample of 500 is +/- 4.4%.


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