FuelCell Energy, Inc. unveiled the results of a survey undertaken this May of more than 1,000 US citizens, age 25+, on their sentiments concerning clean energy.
The study revealed significant concerns about the environment, skepticism around company climate pledges and carbon credit purchase programs, as well as mixed views on how to make the biggest impact to meet tomorrow’s energy and environmental goals.
Key findings from survey respondents’ answers include:
- 78% are concerned that increased consumption of oil, gas and coal will lead to more environmental issues.
- 87% are somewhat concerned that the recent Russia – Ukraine conflict will have a negative impact on availability, pricing of energy resources and overall energy security.
- 32% are most concerned about manufacturing as the industry that most pollutes the environment. Another 32% responded that energy production is the most concerning. Agriculture, construction and transportation/logistics were less of a concern.
Skepticism around corporate promises
- 58% feel that when companies pledge to achieve net-zero emissions these are empty promises or will only happen if mandated by the government. However, 30% are “cautiously optimistic” that progress is being made towards these goals.
- 41% responded that when a brand’s approach to carbon reduction is primarily focused on purchasing carbon credits, it’s a good start, but the brand should be doing more to achieve authentic solutions.
Solid awareness of hydrogen
- 52% have heard of “clean hydrogen” as a fuel source.
- 50% know what hydrogen fuel cells are.
- 53% are aware that hydrogen can be used to power a zero-emission car or truck.
Opinions on the way forward
- 60% feel we shouldn’t rely exclusively on wind and solar, or we need to lean on other clean energy options.
- A surprising 31% of respondents said “better negotiations with foreign countries rich with resources” or “fracking” would make the biggest impact on meeting energy and environmental goals.
- 32% said building the infrastructure necessary to store localized energy resources would make the biggest impact on goals.
- 30% said that the most important issue as an energy consumer is increasing reliance on renewable energy. 25% responded that the most important was to find a transition between the hydrocarbon-based economy of today and a renewable energy-based economy.
Mark Feasel, Executive VP at FuelCell Energy, said, “While some of the responses related to what would make the biggest impact on meeting energy and environmental goals were a surprise, what’s nearly universal is that there are significant concerns about the state of energy today, and the need for reliability and energy security.”