Favorable Consumer Attitudes toward Clean Energy Have Rebounded Significantly: Navigant Research Survey

published: 2014-01-03 10:35 | editor: | category: News

Navigant Research’s newest survey shows that public attitudes toward clean and renewable energy concepts play an important role in determining the growth of these technologies. Over the last few years, consumer attitudes toward these concepts have tended to fluctuate and, in several cases, decline. According to the consumer survey, favorable attitudes for a number of these concepts, particularly solar energy, wind energy, hybrid vehicles, and electric cars, rebounded significantly from their 2012 levels.

The average favorability rating for the 10 concepts, which fall under the categories of clean energy, clean transportation, smart grid, and building efficiency, also rose, to 51 percent, the highest level seen in Navigant Research’s annual survey since 2010. The survey results are summarized in a free white paper, which is available for download on the Navigant Research website.

“Between 2009 and 2012, there were steady declines in favorability for some clean energy concepts, particularly the most favorable concepts, such as solar energy, wind energy, and hybrid and electric vehicles,” says Clint Wheelock, managing director with Navigant Research. “This year saw statistically significant increases in favorability for seven of the 10 concepts, and a decline for only one – nuclear power.”

The survey of 1,084 U.S. adults was conducted in the fall of 2013, and asked respondents to provide their level of favorability for the following key concepts:

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Nuclear power
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Electric cars
  • Natural gas vehicles
  • Biofuels
  • Smart grid
  • Smart meters
  • LEED certification

The similarly high levels of favorable views toward solar and wind energy indicate that consumers are generally supportive of the more established renewable energies that harness naturally occurring power sources. Since these two concepts have retained their most favored status year after year, Navigant Research asserts that consumers consider these renewable energies to be important pieces in the power generation portfolio of the future.

The white paper, “Energy and Environment Consumer Survey”, analyzes the survey responses as a basis for comparing consumer views of 10 energy and environment topics to one another. In addition to favorable and unfavorable opinions, the number of respondents unfamiliar with a concept is also considered in order to compare the level of consumer awareness within each topic. The study includes charts summarizing the survey results, along with demographic breakouts for each clean energy topic.

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