Listen Up Lawmakers: Americans Support Solar Power

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We spend our days advocating for smart solar policy because we believe that harnessing the sun for more of our power is the better path forward. Turns out plenty of our fellow Americans feel the same way.

Polling released yesterday by SEIA and Schott shows that an impressive 9 out of 10 Americans think it’s important for the United States to develop and use solar energy. 8 out of 10 think that the federal government should be incentivizing that solar development, just as we’ve done for traditional sources of energy like oil, natural gas and coal for decades. And that support remains strong regardless of party affiliation. Republicans, Democrats and Independents all agree that we need more solar.

This isn’t anything too new. Poll after poll has shown that people love solar power. What’s different this time around is the polling was conducted after the Solyndra bankruptcy drew the fire of renewable opponents. The failure of the solar startup may have been highly publicized and even more politicized, but Americans aren’t buying it. They see that solar represents a tremendous opportunity to improve our nation’s economy, environment and national security. And now is no time to back down.

The American public continues to be way ahead of policymakers when it comes to solar. Looking for a political upper hand, we’ve seen members of Congress are using the Solyndra fallout to attack solar jobs, a rare area of growth in our troubled national economy. We have no national renewable energy standard. The highly successful 1603 Treasury Grant program will sunset this year. Even the Investment Tax Credit that’s formed the core of U.S. federal solar policy for years is once again set to expire in 2016 – hardly the kind of policy certainty enjoyed by solar’s fossil energy counterparts. Sounds like our nation’s lawmakers should do a little more listening to the citizens they serve.

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.