Empowering America’s Sustainable Transformation: Renewable Energy in the US

Explore consumer trends and insights into renewable energy in the US. Learn about the opinions of Americans and renewables' growing adoption.
Renewable Energy in the US

Renewable energy in the US is rapidly gaining momentum as the country makes bold strides toward a sustainable and renewable energy future. With the ambitious goal of transitioning America to clean energy by 2050, the Biden administration has set the stage for a monumental shift in how the nation powers itself.

Through the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, the administration has earmarked $370 billion for climate change and clean energy initiatives. This includes incentives tailored to drive the progress of solar and wind power.

Moreover, BloombergNEF’s latest Clean Energy Market Outlook shows that global investment in the low-carbon energy transition totalled $1.1 trillion in 2022. Washington also expects that the clean energy industry will bring thousands of good-paying jobs. 

Despite these efforts, the transition toward renewable energy remains a challenge. According to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 60.2% of the utility-scale electricity generated in February 2023 was derived from fossil fuels, and a mere 21.5% was sourced from renewable sources. This data raises crucial questions about the pace and efficacy of the ongoing green energy shift in the country.

Given these national reforms, how do Americans perceive this sweeping shift toward renewable energy?

Standard Insights surveyed over 400 respondents to measure their familiarity with renewable energy in the US, including its sources, current utilization, and willingness to make the transition. The study also uncovered the underlying factors influencing their decision-making, shedding light on the challenges and prospects ahead in the race toward a greener tomorrow.

For brand managers and marketers, understanding these insights is not just critical for aligning with environmental considerations; it’s also pivotal for tapping into emerging market opportunities. As consumers become increasingly eco-conscious, their purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by how companies’ values align with their own, especially regarding sustainability and environmental preservation. Explore the findings of Standard Insights below.

Outlook Toward Renewable Energy in the US

Most Americans exhibit familiarity with solar energy (72.8%). Wind energy and hydroelectricity followed behind, with 47.7% and 30.4% familiarity rates, respectively.

While most Americans are familiar with solar energy, it only accounts for 16% of the 913 billion kWh of the utility-scale generating capacity of the U.S. power grid. Instead, wind (48%) and hydropower (29%) were the top sources of renewable energy, Energy Information Administration showed.

Familiarity with Renewable Energy Sources in the US

The majority of Americans also showed a positive perception of renewable energy in the US. The data reflecting a combined percentage of 64.1% for ‘positive’ and ‘very positive’ responses indicates a prevailing shift in attitudes towards renewable energy in the US.

This shift can be attributed to various factors, including heightened awareness of climate change, increased education about the benefits of renewable energy, and the growing emphasis on sustainable living.

A 2022 study by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication revealed that younger Americans are becoming more concerned about global warming than they were a decade ago. 

Why Americans Want to Switch to Renewable Energy

Based on the survey, only three out of 10 Americans use renewable energy in their homes or workplaces. However, almost the same number of people were unaware of whether they use clean energy. 

Among those using renewable energy in the US, 70% rely on solar power.

Most Utilized Renewable Energy Sources in the US

Concerning the possibility of transitioning to renewable energy in the future, a substantial portion (32.5%) was open to the idea, while a smaller group (7.2%) outrightly dismissed the notion.

Most Americans are also inclined toward recommending renewable energy to acquaintances. The survey showed that 36.3% were “very likely” to advocate for it, with an additional 30.2% expressing “likely” inclinations. 

On the other hand, only 4.7% and 4.3% of participants reported “unlikely” and “’very unlikely” sentiments, respectively.

These findings underscore an increasing endorsement of renewable energy sources, indicating a potential shift towards sustainable energy practices within the community.

The survey also highlighted key factors that influence respondents’ inclinations toward adopting renewable energy in the US. The cost factor emerged as a dominant concern (64.1%), reflecting the need for more accessible and affordable renewable energy solutions.

Environmental impact (41.1%) and the availability of renewable energy options (49.7%) were also cited as significant factors.

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Challenges Hindering the Adoption of Renewable Energy in the US

Among the challenges hindering the widespread adoption of renewable energy in the US is cost, with 44% of respondents citing it as a concern. 

According to a Forbes report, the cost of solar panels could range between $4,500 to $36,000 or $16,000 on average. The price depends on the type and model of the solar panels.

Lack of awareness (23.5%) and technical challenges (10.8%) were also recognized as substantial barriers that need to be addressed to foster a more comprehensive understanding and smoother transition to renewable energy sources.

Biggest Challenges Facing Americans in the Adoption of Renewable Energy

To Wrap Up

The United States is poised for a groundbreaking transformation towards renewable energy, spurred by the Biden administration’s ambitious targets and significant financial allocations. 

Despite challenges in the current energy landscape, the Biden administration’s strong commitment to clean energy, reflected in substantial financial investments and incentives, sets the stage for business growth in the renewable energy sector.

Survey results demonstrated Americans’ positive perception of renewable energy, indicating a growing consciousness and willingness to adopt sustainable energy sources. Individuals also tend to recommend renewable energy, reflecting increasing market interest and potential for consumer adoption.

This presents a chance for businesses to meet the rising demand for accessible and affordable renewable energy solutions. Addressing consumer concerns about costs and overcoming barriers of limited awareness and technical complexities can establish businesses as leaders in the sector. Emphasizing environmental impact and the availability of renewable energy options highlights the importance of eco-friendly practices and diverse energy sources.

Businesses can leverage the growing focus on environmental sustainability among younger generations, positioning themselves as key players in the shift towards a greener future. By aligning strategies with evolving consumer preferences, businesses can contribute to the national effort for sustainable energy and gain a competitive edge in the growing renewable energy market. Eager to delve deeper into renewable energy in the United States? Book a demo with us today to gain exclusive insights into American consumers’ attitudes and behaviours related to renewable energy and more.

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