When people think about clean energy and wind or solar power, they think of California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and other states in the southwest. Kansas doesn’t come to mind first, but the state’s residents overwhelmingly support more renewable energy in the largely agrarian state, at least according to a new poll from the the Wind Coalition and the Climate and Energy Project.
The state does have great wind resources and has grown a significant wind industry with 2.9 gigawatts of wind farms producing electricity for the state’s residents. The state’s solar energy industry hasn’t installed as much solar there yet. But that is starting to change. The new poll by North Star Opinion Research found that 91 percent of respondents are “strongly supportive” of using renewable energy.
“This new poll leaves no doubt that Kansans overwhelmingly support renewable energy like wind and solar,” said Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director of the Climate + Energy Project. “A wide majority, 75 to 16 percent support the renewable portfolio standard and in fact, two thirds of Kansas voters say we should raise the RPS to 25percent. Nearly all agree that using renewable energy has both societal and economic benefits. I hope our Kansas legislators listen to their constituents,” she added.
"Kansas has been a significant beneficiary of renewable energy investment with nearly $8 billion of dollars in new investment and more than 12,000 new jobs in a decade. This poll underscores the sentiment developers see in the field—Kansans want to develop renewable energy and more of it," said Jeff Clark, Executive Director of The Wind Coalition.
The poll comes out after an effort to roll back the state’s landmark renewable portfolio standard last year were defeated. In fact, it found that clean energy is still as popular in the state today as when the legislation was passed in 2009.
The poll also found most Kansans also support increasing the state’s RPS to more than 20 percent of peak demand, where it now sits. “Two-thirds of voters would support increasing the state’s renewable energy law, even if it meant a $1-2 increase in their bill,” according to the survey.
In all the survey found support for renewable energy across the political spectrum, with 73 percent of Republicans, 75 percent Independents and 82 of Democrats supporting the 2009 RPS law. They cited various reasoned for their support. “Of those surveyed, 88 percent [said it will] will lead to new investments in Kansas and help grow the state’s economy; 85 percent believe renewable energy will lead to the creation of new jobs in Kansas. Additionally, 89 percent believe that renewable energy helps protect to the land and environment,” the survey found.Tweet