Results of poll: Some 94 percent of Americans asked support both the use and expansion of solar energy

Date: 25 July 2008
Source: SCHOTT Solar GmbH
 - Nearly 80 percent say the U.S. Government should give the development and expansion of renewable energy higher priority  - Results send clear signal for American legislation According to the findings of the SCHOTT Solar Barometer, a representative survey conducted online by an independent polling firm that was commissioned by SCHOTT Solar GmbH and the Solar Energy Industry Association in the United States, a vast majority of Americans polled overwhelmingly support the development and funding of solar energy.

Among other questions asked, the independent polling firm, Kelton Research, looked into people’s personal preferences with respect to various types of energy sources. The results published just recently clearly show that solar power is considered to be of great importance.

More than three-quarters of the Americans polled expressed that the development of renewable energy sources should remain a top priority for the federal government. More than 40 percent of the U.S. citizens asked said that they would support solar energy, if they were President. Only 3 percent responded that they would favor the use of coal as an energy source, if they had to select only a single source of power, while approximately 10 percent would support atomic power and around 15 percent natural gas. Solar and wind together were favored nearly 20 times more than coal. “These results are an undeniable signal to our elected leaders that Americans want job-creating solar power, now,” said Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in Washington D.C.

Federal investment tax credits favored by those asked

The SCHOTT Solar Barometer also revealed that more than 70 percent of those polled favor the extension of federal tax credits to encourage the further development of solar power. By contrast, only 8 percent of Americans feel that these tax credits should not be extended. The current federal legislation that provides incentives to spur the growth of renewable energy is set to expire at the end of the year. Experts predict that without long-term renewal of the legislation, the solar energy industry will struggle to maintain its current momentum. According to independent analysis by the consulting firm, Navigant Consulting, this would translate into the loss of 39,000 jobs, as well as the loss of nearly $8 billion in investments. “Continuing to develop solar means job growth in the solar industry. Rather than relying on foreign oil reserves, the U.S. could become one of the world’s leaders in clean energy,” notes Dr. Martin Heming, Chairman of the Board of Management and CEO of SCHOTT Solar GmbH.

Extension of the tax credits continues to be in doubt, as the House, Senate and Administration debate differing plans. In May, the House Ways and Means Committee cleared a law that would extend the solar investment tax credit and create new jobs for six years. The current draft of the “Renewable Energy & Job Creation Act” failed to pass the U.S. Senate in mid-June; therefore the final decision on this legislation has yet to be made.

“The U.S. Senate will now have the opportunity to act decisively by passing the Renewable Energy & Job Creation Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049) this month. This is smart policy that will help solar become a powerful economic engine for the country, stabilize energy prices for consumers and businesses and improve America’s national energy security. A vote against this bill is a vote against what the vast majority of Americans are demanding,” said Mr. Resch. If one considers that, according to the American Solar Energy Society, nearly 7,000 gigawatts (GW) of solar generation capacity exists in the American Southwest, America is truly a sleeping giant. The Americans themselves are now hoping to wake up this giant.” says Dr. Heming.

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SCHOTT Solar’s high quality products exploit the virtually inexhaustible potential of the sun as a renewable source of energy. For this purpose SCHOTT Solar produces important components for photovoltaic applications and solar energy plants with parabolic trough technology. In the photovoltaic industry, the company is one of the few integrated manufacturers of crystalline silicon wafers, cells and modules. Wafer production is mainly carried out through a WACKER SCHOTT Solar joint venture, which ensures the supply of silicon, necessary for long-term growth. Thanks to over 20 years of experience in thin-film technology, SCHOTT Solar also regards itself as one of the industry’s cutting-edge companies. In receiver production for solar power plants with parabolic trough technology, SCHOTT Solar considers itself to be the market and technology leader. The receivers are key components in large-scale power plants that generate electricity from solar energy centrally on the basis of parabolic trough technology and can supply entire cities with power. SCHOTT Solar has production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA and Spain. SCHOTT Solar’s innovative power and technological expertise date back to the late 1950s. SCHOTT Solar GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international SCHOTT technology group. SCHOTT develops special materials, components and systems for the household appliance, pharmaceutical, solar energy, electronics, optical and automotive industries. With around 16,700 employees, the SCHOTT Group generated a worldwide turnover of about 2.1 billion euros in fiscal year 2006/2007.

600450 Results of poll: Some 94 percent of Americans asked support both the use and expansion of solar energy

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