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Aussies lead the way in solar support stakes

16th May 2013

Renewable energy such as solar power and wind energy are being increasingly seen as worthy alternatives to traditional energy sources, but it seems that on a global scale that some people may need some more convincing.

Luckily, in Australia support for renewable energy is strong!

A survey from March of this year, undertaken by AMR Research and commissioned by the World Wildlife Foundation Australia (WWF), revealed that 87% of Australians want more action by all sectors, including the government, to make Australia a top ten producer of renewable energy.

The WWF survey also found that a significant amount of respondents believe that our renewable energy should account for 27 per cent of our total energy by 2020, as opposed to the current Renewable Energy Target (RET) which is 20 per cent by 2020.

In contrast to this Aussie support for renewables, a recent survey in the US undertaken by Navigant Research has shown that consumer support for the renewables is still high, but it has fallen somewhat over the last three years.

According to Navigant Research's Energy and Environment Consumer Survey, favourable impressions of solar energy fell from 2011's level of 77 per cent to 69 per cent in 2012.

For wind energy, the drop over the same time period was 71 per cent to 69 per cent.

"Since 2009, there have been steady declines in favourability for some clean energy concepts, particularly the areas that have traditionally enjoyed strong consumer support such as solar energy, wind energy, hybrid vehicles, and electric cars," says Clint Wheelock, managing director with Navigant Research.

"Overall, support for clean energy concepts in our tracking survey held fairly steady from 2011 to 2012, but the decline for solar energy in particular was significant."

Identifying the reasons for the slight lapse in support in places like the US will play an important role in turning it around and changing attitudes.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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