Americans want renewables and are willing to pay for them

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In 2010 wind and solar comprised just 1% of the U.S. energy mix. Today, 10 years later, renewable energy supplies more power to America’s grid than coal.

However as renewable energy usage and generation are growing (and despite the fact that Americans want to use it), the results of a recent survey conducted by Siege Media indicates that many still view renewable energy as a “nice to have,” rather than essential for our future. 

Almost half (43%) of those surveyed said they would not be willing to pay more on their utility bills to use renewable energy:

Of those that responded, millennials were most likely to be willing to pay more to use renewable energy, while those over 65 years-old were least likely.

In stark contrast, the survey found that those over 65 were more concerned about energy scarcity for future generations than those who it will directly affect (31% vs. 16%).

Which renewable energy source is most important? Most don’t know

Siege also asked Americans which renewable energy source they thought was most important and found that 37% didn’t know:

Enough sunlight hits the earth in 1 hour to power the entire world for a year. Wind power provides energy just as cheaply as fossil fuels, offering another compelling solution.

Further renewable energy growth requires educated voters

Although some researchers have concluded that using 100% renewable energy may not be possible in the U.S., the benefit of increasing our renewable footprint is an important part of reducing carbon emissions:

Renewable energy is the most cost‑effective way of providing 90% of the required reduction in energy‑related carbon dioxide emissions.

– The International Renewable Energy Agency (via The U.N.)

However, to maximize U.S. renewable energy usage and reduce carbon emissions, policy changes must occur. And if the public is unable to make informed decisions regarding who to elect, favorable policy change will be hard to create.

It seems more education on the threat climate change poses and why renewable energy is an important part of combating it is needed. Experts agree

Methodology

The survey consisted of three questions conducted through Google Surveys run on November 13, 2019. Siege collected 1,000 completed responses per question and added post-stratification weighting to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. 

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Scott Turner is a content marketing specialist at Siege Media, a content marketing agency. He came to Siege after spending time as a an engineer, travel magazine photographer and marketing head for a niche executive sales recruiting firm.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.