Survey Shows Majority of Midwestern Americans Support Renewable Energy

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16th September 2014 10:45 - Utilities

According to a recent survey, the majority of Midwestern-based Americans believe that renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, is a reliable, affordable option that creates a steady stream of good jobs.

The study, which was conducted with 2,477 residents from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, discovered that three in 10 (29%) people thought immediate action needed to be taken to tackle global warming, with marginally less (28%) believing “some action” should be taken. One quarter (25%) said not enough is known about global warming and that more research is required before action is taken, and 15% said concern about global warming is unwarranted.

Collectively, three in 10 (30%) of the survey’s participants agreed their state currently generates more electricity than it can use, with more than one third (36%) disagreeing and the remaining 34% unsure. Ohio residents were most likely to agree with this statement and Michigan citizens were more inclined to disagree.

Furthermore, the overwhelming majority (95%) of participants said they would support increasing use of energy efficiency to help meet their state’s future needs - three quarters (76%) strongly supported this and one fifth (19%) somewhat supported.

Most respondents also supported the increasing use of solar energy (91%), wind energy (87%), natural gas (88%), hydropower (84%), coal (55%), nuclear (54%) and biomass (50%).

In addition, almost four fifths (79%) of the survey’s respondents rejected the idea that wind turbines were harmful to public health - people in Iowa (87%) were most likely to think turbines were not harmful, with residents in Wisconsin (21%) least likely to agree.

And, finally, participants thought the below phrases described renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, well:

•    Allow us to be more self-reliant for energy - 86%
•    Will help to make our energy supply more secure - 81%
•    Reliable - 80%
•    An increasing source of good jobs - 75%
•    Affordable - 72%
•    The best power source for our state - 69%
•    Increasingly able to replace coal and fossil fuels - 63%

(NB: Percentage relates to the number of participants who believe the statement describes renewable energy either “very well” or “somewhat well.”)

The research in this study was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

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