New Poll Shows Solar Is The Favored Form Of Electricity

Tayo Olanipekun

Over three-quarters of American voters want to see more investment from their electricity suppliers and more action by the government that will encourage the use of both large and small scale solar power, a poll has shown.

Those polled were across the party lines and 76 per cent of voters and 87 per cent of opinion leaders think their utility should deploy more solar power, according to Global Strategy Group poll released today at the Solar Power International Trade Show, in California, U.SA.

“Democrats, Republicans and Independents all said, everything being equal, they would vote against a politician who opposed solar power,” said Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper. “Politicians can take this to the bank – Americans will not stand for government or company policies that prevent them from accessing clean, renewable, job-producing, affordable power.”

The Nigerian electricity supply has been so erratic and undependable for many years, forcing many households and industries to rely on diesel and gasoline generators for electricity known to be more expensive, even after the state-run power authority was unbundled and privatized.

The electricity generation company currently produces around 7,000Mw of electricity, out of which the distribution companies are only able to supply 5,300Mw to users due to aging and inadequate installations.

Many Nigerian households and business owners have, however, in recent time turned to solar electricity as a reliable source of energy through the off-grid lease-to-own solar units as well as mini grid sources.

The Power Africa project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which rounded off in Nigeria in February, also enabled 262,000 connections of 2.15Mw of reliable solar energy.

Though the renewable energy sector in Nigeria is characterized by a regulatory void, many investors are already in the nation’s marketplace even as the patronage is still low.

In the U.S., however, the poll further showed that more than 70 per cent of registered voters support both net metering and renewable portfolio standards of at least 50 per cent by 2030. Nine out of 10 respondents also said that their power company should not be able to stop them from using solar energy.

The exercise revealed that the most convincing arguments in support of solar are that it emits less pollution leading to lower health risks than other forms of energy, that it creates economic and job growth, and that solar prices are dropping substantially, making it affordable for all Americans.

“The polling showed that the industry does have an opportunity to move the needle in its favor,” said Senior Vice President of Global Strategies Group, Andrew Baumann. “Whether it’s support for pro-solar policies, a desire to invest in solar, or an interest taking actions to advancing solar deployment, people’s pro-solar opinions became stronger with better information.”

Post Author: Tayo Olanipekun