Consumers around the world overwhelmingly support the rollout of renewable energy, but many have mistaken views about “green” products, according to a survey conducted by TNS Gallup for Vestas Wind Systems. The May 2011 survey polled 31,000 consumers in 26 countries and was intended to show companies how they could link their image to customers’ views on renewable energy. But the poll also showed that many consumers were ill-informed about companies’ environmental impacts, as well as the availability of renewable power.
“Vehicles powered by fossil fuel account for a significant part of global emissions, yet automobile manufacturers … have acted to persuade consumer opinion, for instance with advertising claims about the energy efficiency of gasoline or diesel powered vehicles,” Vestas said in statement about the survey.
The poll showed 79% of consumers surveyed would view as “positive” the companies that primarily use wind energy, with only 4% viewing that as “negative.”
A strong 90% of global consumers backed an increase in renewable energy, while 15% said nuclear power sources should increase, and 8% said use of fossil fuels use should rise.
Consumers in China were strongly in favor of increasing renewable energy sources, with 95% of those surveyed supporting it, well above the 77% in the United States who favored it. But 72% of Chinese consumers also believed they had access to green electricity — a figure far higher than reality. Coal remains the largest source of Chinese power generation, according to International Energy Agency, even though the wind industry there is growing rapidly.
Half the consumers surveyed said they would be willing to pay higher prices for products made using renewable energy, while 45% said they would not pay more. Developing nations’ consumers were most willing to pay extra for products produced using renewable energy, with 72% of those in China, Chile, and India saying they would spend more.
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