GLOBE-Net, December 26, 2012 – The clean energy industry faced several challenges in 2012, including the demise of some high profile solar energy firms and concerns around smart grids/smart meters and consumer privacy.
Public sentiment about issues related clean energy and the environment, however, has not always reflected developments in the market and in the political sphere.
[stextbox id=”custom” float=”true” width=”200″ bcolor=”add3d5″ bgcolor=”add3d5″ image=”null”]Despite efforts to educate consumers about the benefits of clean energy technologies, attitudes around these topics – which will be key to the proliferation of these technologies into the mass market – are slow or difficult to change.[/stextbox]
To gain a better understanding of consumer awareness and attitudes about a variety of key issues, Pike Research conducted a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, asking respondents to provide their level of awareness for key concepts as well as rating their level of support for each.
The survey asked consumers to respond with their impressions of the following energy and environmental concepts: Solar energy, Wind energy, Clean coal, Nuclear power, Hybrid vehicles, Natural gas cars, Biofuels, Electric cars, Smart grid. Smart meters, Carbon offsets/credits, Cap and trade, LEED certification
There were few changes in the survey responses from 2011 to 2012. First, many in the general population are likely to have already formed opinions about energy and environmental topics, and these views are holding steady despite some challenges in the space.
Examples of such challenges include the demise of some high profile solar energy firms and concerns around smart grids/smart meters and consumer privacy. In addition, despite efforts to educate consumers about the benefits of these energy and environmental topics, attitudes around these topics are slow or difficult to change.
Chart 1.1 shows the percentage of favorable and very favorable responses to each of the 13 topics presented in the survey with the following noteworthy findings:
» More than two-thirds of respondents (69%) favored the concept of solar energy, which led all concepts in favorable responses.
» Cap and trade received the fewest favorable responses (only 15%).
The Pike Research white paper presents all of the survey responses as a basis for comparing consumer views of 13 energy and environmental topics to one another, and for gauging how those views have changed over time.
In addition to favorable and unfavorable opinions, the number of respondents unfamiliar with a concept is also considered to compare the level of consumer awareness within each topic. The study includes charts summarizing the survey results, along with commentary on notable trends and patterns for each area.