More than 80% of Michigan voters, with majority support among both Republicans and Democrats, favor increasing the state’s use of solar energy, according to a recent poll. Support reached eighty-six percent in the Southeast region, an area largely comprised of DTE Energy customers. The polling comes as public interest groups urge DTE Energy to rethink its proposal to build a billion dollar gas plant in light of new evidence that clean energy, including solar power, is a more affordable option.
“Across every region, every party, every gender, Michiganders are ready for a solar economy,” said Becky Stanfield, Vote Solar’s Senior Director of Western States. “Instead of burdening residents with expensive fossil fuels for decades to come, Michigan lawmakers, regulators, and utilities should get to work building the clean energy economy that Michiganders want. Solar and clean energy options will create thousands of local jobs while saving families and business owners money.”
Today, solar energy represents less than 1% of the state’s energy portfolio. As Michigan’s largest electric utility, DTE Energy’s decisions impact 2.2 million residents and set the course for the entire state’s energy trajectory.
“Lawmakers are sometimes surprised when they see such overwhelming, bipartisan support for solar power,” said Elizabeth Sena, partner at GQR, which conducted the polling. “Our latest poll found that in Michigan 66% of Republican voters, 78% of independents and a whopping 95% of Democrats, want more solar energy. Simply put, the vast majority of voters agree that it’s important for the Great Lakes State to increase its use of solar.”
Women in Michigan responded overwhelmingly in favor of more solar at 875, with support from men trailing closely at 74%.
“Michiganders everywhere understand that solar is good for their wallets, good for the economy and good for the planet,” said Nicholas Occhipinti, Government Affairs Director of Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Policymakers should follow the lead of the voters and move full speed ahead to a solar future.”
News item from Vote Solar