American Attitudes Toward Clean Energy Softening


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As renewable and clean energies have begun to proliferate across the globe, consumer attitudes toward different energy types have been a bit unpredictable. In recent years, American opinions of new and different energy-generating technologies have been dropping slightly.

Now, market research firm Navigant Research has found that U.S. Adults are coming around on clean energy, if only for the most established technologies.

The firm surveyed over 1,000 U.S. adults on their opinions of 10 clean energy technologies and found that opinions have begun returning to favorable levels. Overall those surveyed had a 51% favorability rating for the 10 technologies combined, the highest Navigant has measured since 2010, when favorability ratings began dipping.

More specifically the survey found that opinions had softened on over half of the 10 technologies, and especially for solar and wind-generated power. The one technology that still saw a decline in favorability is nuclear power, which could still be suffering from the stigma of the Fukushima Daiichi incident in 2011. Navigant interprets its survey results to mean that Americans are more favorable toward more "established" clean energy technologies.

“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,” said Clint Wheelock, managing director at Navigant Research. “This year saw statistically significant increases in favorability for seven of the 10 concepts, and a decline for only one – nuclear power.”