The solar energy industry is booming, and U.S. residents are definitely supportive of this photovoltaic power revolution.
A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found that almost 9 out of every 10 adults favors expanding the use of solar power in the United States.
An impressive 89 percent of those polled want more solar panel farms. No other energy source enjoys this much public support, although wind turbine farms come close at 83 percent.
Nonrenewable energy sources are not looked upon nearly so favorably. More than half of adults surveyed opposed expansion in the coal mining, fracking, nuclear power and offshore drilling industries.
The survey results nearly mirror the planned energy capacity developments for 2016. Planned solar expansion will total 9.5 GW, more than any other energy source. And that figure doesn’t include distributed solar, such as rooftop photovoltaic panels, which totaled roughly 2 GW in 2015. Wind capacity is close at 6.8 GW, although natural gas additions are slightly higher with 8 GW planned.
Of those who participated in the Pew survey, just 4 percent had already installed residential photovoltaic arrays. However, 40 percent admitted to seriously considering solar energy for powering their homes.
Breaking the results down by region indicates that homeowners in Western states are the most interested in installing photovoltaic arrays. About 14 percent of the Westerners polled had home solar power systems, with another 52 percent contemplating a photovoltaic installation.
Why is solar power more attractive to people in Western states? While many factors and considerations are involved, the most common reasons include the sun-drenched climate and higher electricity rates in the Southwest and Intermountain West.
Survey respondents who have installed or are considering installing photovoltaic systems did so for a variety of reasons. For most people — a full 90 percent — saving money on utility bills was the primary motivation. The environment was another big motivation, important to 87 percent of those polled.
Homeowners are also jumping on the photovoltaic bandwagon as a result of the federal solar tax credit. This financial incentive, which offers a 30 percent income tax credit based on the cost of installing a photovoltaic system, was instrumental for 60 percent of those surveyed.
Making the switch to photovoltaic power offers countless advantages to homeowners in Utah and throughout the Intermountain West states. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, and let the alternative energy professionals at Intermountain Wind & Solar explain how solar energy can benefit you.
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