In an election year in which one candidate is hell bent on expanding the use of coal as an energy source, a new poll by the Pew Research Center shows that 89% of all Americans favor expanding the use of solar power to make electricity thanks to its many benefits. This finding means that the vast majority of US citizens support solar power regardless of age, political affiliation, class, race, or sex. The Pew Research Center report also found that 4% of homeowners have a rooftop solar system. Many more — 40% — say they have given serious thought in the past 12 months to adding one.
Homeowners living in the western half of the country are more likely to say they are considering adding rooftop solar panels. 52% said the thought has crossed their mind. 14% already have a residential solar system on their home.
Compare that to people in the east: Only 2% of them have a solar system already and just 37% say they have seriously considered it.
The US Energy Information Agency says it expects 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from large-scale solar farms to be added in 2016, with another 2 gigawatts from distributed solar sources such as rooftop solar. Total demand for electricity in the US stands at about 1,070 gigawatts, which means solar power only accounts for about 1% of all the electricity used in this country despite recent advances.