February 15, 2012 — Vote Solar, a non-profit solar advocacy group, in partnership with Probolsky Research, announced the findings of a recent survey to assess the attitudes toward solar energy development in California's Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
"The survey demonstrates widespread support for solar development in California's deserts. Nearly four out of five people surveyed believe that the California desert is a great resource and should be used to develop solar power projects," said Adam Probolsky, CEO of Probolsky Research. "We polled just residents living in the desert communities where renewable energy projects are being proposed. Voters understand the impacts and the rewards of utility-scale solar projects in California's desert communities and they support it."
Nearly four out of five citizens polled believe that the California desert is a great resource and should be used to develop solar power projects. The majority of respondents are concerned about global warming.
Two out of three agree that renewable energy is an important part of our state's future and that the state and federal government is right to provide financial support and tax incentives for renewable energy projects.
Vote Solar said that jobs and the economy are by far the most important issues concerning voters in California desert counties. Unemployment rates in the counties polled are high, peaking at a high of 26.8 percent unemployment in Imperial County. The construction sector in particular is facing 18.9 percent unemployment across the state.
Polling data also showed that citizens of the California desert became even more supportive of utility-scale solar development in their county when informed that solar facilities will improve the overall air quality in their region.
Solar power facilities will reduce dependence on California's aging, polluting fossil power plants by providing clean solar power, avoiding millions of tons of carbon-dioxide emissions and other air pollutants.