Renewable Energy Support, Climate Concern Keep Rising

May 20, 2018


Turns out Millenials give a damn about their planet and their children. Sorry, angry old people.


A new survey from global auditing and consulting firm Deloitte suggests the gap between environmental concern and consumer action may be shrinking. The pillars helping to bridge the divide include falling prices for solar power, higher awareness of clean energy options, growing concern about climate change and the inclinations of millennials.

“In addition to expressing broad support for renewables, residential consumers are generally striving to do more to become greener at a personal level,” the report authors wrote.

In this year’s Deloitte Resources Study, 68 percent of electric power buyers said they are very concerned about climate change and their carbon footprint. That’s the highest percentage ever recorded in the study, topping the previous record of 65 percent in 2016.


The resources survey is Deloitte’s first since President Donald Trumpannounced in June that the United States was pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. That high-profile decision has actually raised awareness of environmental issues and caused businesses to revisit their sustainability plans, the study authors told CNBC.

The survey found that 74 percent of respondents believe climate change is caused by human actions, up 5 points from 2017. Just 37 percent said environmental concerns are overblown, down 8 points from last year.

That concern is percolating up to businesses. In Deloitte’s survey of businesses, 7 in 10 companies reported that customers were demanding that they draw at least some of their power from renewable sources.

American Wind Energy Association:

Six companies signed wind PPAs for the first time during the first quarter, adding to the list of Fortune 500 companies and other non-utility purchasers powering their operations with wind energy. First-time wind buyers included Adobe Systems, AT&T, Brown Forman, Kohler, and Nestlé. AT&T led the pack, signing two PPAs for a total of 520 MW, one of the largest corporate renewable energy purchases in the U.S.

“As one of the world’s largest companies, we know how we source our energy is important,” said Scott Mair, President, AT&T Operations. “We’ve been working for a long time to ensure our wind projects deliver for both our business and the environment.”

These new players joined repeat wind buyers Bloomberg, Facebook, Nike, and T-Mobile who also signed wind PPAs during the first quarter. Corporate and other non-utility customers have solidified their role as a stable demand driver for wind, signing more than 9,000 MW of PPAs to date.


When Earther last checked in on Americans’ views on climate change, we found conservative climate denial is a uniquely American trait. A new Pew Research survey affirms the partisan divide is as strong as ever when it comes to accepting basic climate science. But there’s also something that should give you hope: majorities of Democrats and Republicans want to see more renewable energy.

Oh, and about two thirds of Americans say the government isn’t doing enough to address climate change.

“Robust support for expanding solar and wind power represents a rare point of bipartisan consensus in how the U.S. views energy policies,” the survey authors wrote.

Indeed, 93 percent and 91 percent of Democrats want more solar farms and wind turbines respectively, while 84 percent and 79 percent of Republicans want to see those technologies expanded. Consensus!

The Pew survey shows that most Republicans feel like the marketplace will create the renewables boom on its own, without government regulations. On one level, they’re right and it’s already happening. On another level, sound policies could help spur wider renewables penetration, and the Trump administration is actively working against those types of policies.

A larger energy divide is visible when we get to fossil fuel sources. A majority of Republicans favor more fracking, offshore drilling, and coal mining while the opposite is true for Democrats. Overall, while support for expanding fossil fuels is lower than support for expanding clean energy, pro-fossil fuel policies remain popular with the Republican base.

Why? Tribalism is a part of it. The other part is the shitload of money pouring into the Republican party from oil and gas interests.

The Koch brothers—major Republican donors whose sprawling empire of fossil fuel-related industries has made them billionaires—have cheered on the fossil fuel-friendly moves that Republican Congress and the Trump administration have undertaken, from an attempt to kill rooftop solar in the recent tax bill to a solar tariff that could slow solar adoption to going ham with offshore drilling to pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.They’re the tip of the fossil fuel financial iceberg that’s largely putting money and support into keeping Republicans in office.



7 Responses to “Renewable Energy Support, Climate Concern Keep Rising”

  1. pendantry Says:

    Has Trump removed the solar panels from the White House that Obama finally put up there again? (… or did they in fact ever make it back?). Enquiring minds want to know.

  2. Abel Adamski Says:

    In relation to fracking an excellent item (Includes transcript) of an interview with the Father of Fracking Technology
    Since 1977, Dr. Anthony R. Ingraffea has been a popular professor teaching structural mechanics, and fracture mechanics, at Cornell University in New York State. He and his students published over 200 scientific papers. Ingraffea has been a lead investigator in projects for major corporations like Boeing and Grumann, and for government agencies like NASA and the National Science Foundation. He’s won a ton of awards for his work. When it comes to fracking rock, this is an expert’s expert.

    From Ithaca New York, we welcome Anthony “Tony” Ingraffea to Radio Ecoshock.

    In 2011, Tony and another Professor at Cornell, Robert Howarth, published two major papers on the climate impacts of fracking. In November 2011, I interviewed Dr. Howarth, and broadcast the Radio Ecoshock show titled “Fracking Gas = Climate Crash”.


    For more, please see this article “World May Hit 2 Degrees of Warming in 10-15 Years Thanks to Fracking, Says Cornell Scientist”
    By Sharon Kelly, published April 11, 2018 in the Desmog Blog.

    How did Tony Ingraffea travel from working with fracking technology to an opponent? Read “Meet Anthony Ingraffea—From Industry Insider to Implacable Fracking Opponent” by Ellen Cantarow.

    Well and truly a wake up call about the Devils Bargain that we have been sold as a solution

  3. ubrew12 Says:

    About the time millenials are ready to take on Global Warming, their parents GOP will suddenly decide they care about the national debt, after all.

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