While the GOP seems to be trying to show its heavy donors in the dirty energy world that conservative politicians and media pundits can deliver value for money by bashing solar power, the American public has shown yet again that they still support solar power.
And what’s not to love? It’s clean, unlike fossil fuels. And unlike wind, it doesn’t need to be done on a huge scale to be worthwhile. Best of all, its fuel is free of charge and free of hassle: the sun!
But that hasn’t stopped Republicans whining on and on about Solyndra, the California solar panel maker supported by a federal loan guarantee but driven out of business by a combination of competition from China, low silicon prices and bad management. Michele Bachmann asked a packed Tea Party fundraiser in Marin County: “What did the stimulus give us last time? It gave us Solyndra. Wasn’t that great?” while Mitt Romney’s website calls the company “a true engine of bankruptcy.”
No matter. For the fourth consecutive year, the annual SCHOTT Solar Barometer survey has shown that overwhelming majorities of Americans support greater development of solar energy. For example:
- Nine out of ten respondents (89%) think it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar power.
- Solar energy is non-partisan: Independents (90%), Republicans (80%) and Democrats (94%) all agree that developing solar energy is important.
- Eight out of ten Americans (82%) believe that solar energy should receive the same level and type of support as fossil fuel industries have enjoyed for decades, and that the government should support solar manufacturing.
- A plurality (39%) would choose to prioritize solar if they were in charge of U.S. energy policy, more than natural gas (21%), wind (12%), nuclear (9%) or coal (3%).
- More than half of Americans (51%) would be more likely to buy a product if they knew it was made using solar energy.
— Erik Curren, Transition Voice