US people, businesses see wind, solar as key energy priority - study

Rooftop solar system. Author: Martin Abegglen. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

June 15 (Renewables Now) - No matter if the federal government supports clean energy or not, demand is growing among US consumers and businesses, and the fact that renewables are getting more competitive is helping a lot, a Deloitte study shows.

The audit, consulting, and advisory services provider said 63% residential consumers were very concerned about climate change and their own carbon footprints. Of those polled, 37% and 25% said increasing the use of solar power and wind power, respectively, was the most important energy issue for them.

Nearly 60% of consumers said the option to use renewables would motivate them to switch providers and they are willing to pay a 4%-8% surcharge on their bills for renewables.

The annual study “Resources 2017 Study – Energy Management: Sustainability & Progress” also says energy storage could be the key game changer for renewable energy growth from consumers and businesses. Deloitte said 48% of business respondents are working to get more renewable electricity. Of the 39% which are not interested in procuring more renewable power, 58% say combining it with battery storage could motivate them to do more.

Deloitte spoke to more than 700 companies in the US and its interviews with the energy decision-makers showed how changing business needs are leading to a shift in energy priorities. About 80% of businesses viewed reducing electricity costs as crucial to “maintaining an image that keeps them competitive”. Some 61% said their customers are demanding that they cover a certain portion of their electricity demand with renewable power.

Roughly 60% of businesses have some form of on-site electricity generation, and 33% plan to get more of that.

“The demand for clean energy has passed the point of no return. It is not only political anymore. It is an economic issue,” said Marlene Motyka, US and global renewable energy leader and principal at Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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