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92% of Americans support solar power development, study says

October 7, 2009 |  9:05 pm

The vast majority -- 92% -- of Americans think it’s important for the country to develop and use solar power, according to a study released today, making the alternative energy option potentially one of the most popular things since puppies or ice cream.

The sentiment was echoed almost evenly across political parties, with 89% of Republicans, 94% of Democrats and 93% of Independents agreeing that solar energy is an important aim.

The 2009 Schott Solar Barometer, conducted by independent polling firm Kelton Research, found that 77% of respondents also believe the federal government should make solar power development a national priority. Nearly half are considering solar power options for their home or business, while 70% of those hope to make the switch in the next five years. Only 3% already use the sun for energy.

If, as president of the U.S., they had to choose one energy source to fund, 43% of respondents would chose solar, followed by the 17% who picked wind, the 12% who settled on natural gas and the 10% who selected nuclear.

And yet only 12% of those polled could say that they were extremely informed about solar power while 74% said they wished they knew more about solar power options.

The study, conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8, was commissioned by German photovoltaic company Schott Solar and the Solar Energy Industries Assn.

-- Tiffany Hsu