In the face of several challenges endured by the clean energy industry in 2012, including the demise of some high profile solar energy companies and concerns around smart grids, largely involving issues of consumer privacy, Pike Research conducted a survey of more than 1,000 US adults in order to investigate their level of awareness concerning key concepts within the energy sector. The study also rated their level of support for each technology.
The rationale for the study concerned the fact that public sentiment about clean energy issues has not always been reflected in the market and in policy. Despite efforts to educate customers about clean energy, it is the case that attitudes among the public are generally slow to change.
The technologies covered by the study included solar, wind, coal, nuclear, hybrid vehicles, natural gas cars, biofuels, smart grids and smart meters, carbon credits, cap & trade and LEED certification. The white paper that Pike has published as a result presents all the survey responses along with charts and commentary on notable trends and patterns.
The report found little substantial change in attitudes since a similar study was carried out in 2011 on the basis that many people have already formed opinions about clean energy and that they are in general holding steady. However opinions are in general fairly positive with solar and wind being the most favoured technologies above coal and nuclear. The result reveal that, in the US at least, solar and wind have attracted mass appeal among consumers.
Clean transportation is also favoured but not to the same extent as solar and wind. Attitudes to smart grids are, however, less positive in comparison with a high number of respondents reporting that they were less familiar with smart grid technology or had fairly neutral opinions about it.
The report can be downloaded for free from the Pike Research website.