By Greentech Lead Team: Consumer support for clean energy
concepts ranging from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles to smart grid
technologies has declined significantly with in last two years.
In a survey of
more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, the
cleantech market intelligence firm, Pike Research found that the average
percentage of consumers with an “extremely” or “very” favorable view of 13
clean energy concepts declined significantly from 50 percent in 2009 to 45
percent in 2010, and dropped further to 43 percent in 2011.
The percentages of survey respondents stating that they
had either a “very favorable” or “favorable” view for each of the 13 concepts
in 2011 were as follows: Solar Energy: 77 percent; Wind Energy: 71 percent;
Hybrid Vehicles: 61 percent; Electric Cars: 55 percent; Natural Gas Cars: 51
percent; Clean Coal: 42 percent; Nuclear Power: 40
percent; Biofuels: 39 percent; Smart Meters: 38 percent; Smart Grid:
37 percent; Carbon Offsets/Credits: 19 percent; LEED Certification: 18 percent;
Cap and Trade: 14 percent.
Among the 13 clean energy concepts, Biofuels suffered the
most precipitous decline in favorability, dropping 17 points from 56 percent in
the 2009 edition of Pike Research’s survey to 39 percent by 2011. Favorability
ratings of Smart Grid and Clean Coal were tied for the second largest decline,
each falling 10 points over the two-year period.
Carbon Offsets/Credits garnered the largest percentage of
“strongly unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” views from survey
participants, with a 25 percent unfavorable rating, followed closely by Nuclear
Power with a 23 percent unfavorable rating and Cap and Trade with a 22 percent
45 percent of respondents stated that they were
unfamiliar with LEED Certification, the green building certification program
administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, the lowest level of
familiarity of any of the 13 energy and environment concepts.