Home Energy and Environment New Poll: Virginians Overwhelmingly Support 100% Clean Energy by 2030

New Poll: Virginians Overwhelmingly Support 100% Clean Energy by 2030

Virginians also are MUCH more favorable towards politicians who support clean energy


Great, albeit completely unsurprising, news from the Virginia Sierra Club. This poll, in addition to showing that Virginians overwhelmingly (67%-27%) support moving towards 100% clean energy by 2030, also demonstrates how wildly out of touch the Virginia GOP, Dominion Energy and the fossil fuel folks are. How about our elected officials instead listen to the 67%-27% majority of Virginians who want 100% solar, wind and energy efficiency – and soon?

Virginians Support Moving to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy

New Poll Shows Broad Support for Transitioning Entirely to Clean Energy

VIRGINIA– In a new poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQR), Virginians show strong support for generating 100 percent of the state’s electricity using clean, renewable energy.

The poll, released today by the Sierra Club, shows that more than two-thirds of  Virginia voters would favor a goal of generating 100 percent of the state’s electricity using clean and renewable sources like solar and wind by 2030. Support comes from across the political spectrum, with 85 percent of self-identified Democrats, 62 percent of independents, and 46 percent of Republicans endorsing this goal.

“We’re seeing exciting progress and leadership on renewable energy at the local and state levels. Virginia’s voters have spoken and said that it’s time for our state to step up and act in our best interest by transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels to 100 percent clean renewable energy,” Alice Redhead, Community Outreach Coordinator for Clean Energy at the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, said. “Virginians know that 100 percent clean energy is not only attainable, it’s a smart investment for our future, and we all will reap the benefits for our economy, health, and environment.”

“The results of the poll are incredibly promising, showing that Virginians are excited and committed to our clean energy future,” Kate Addleson, Director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, said. “Virginia has the potential and will to lead the region in moving away from dirty, outdated fossil fuel burning power plants to clean energy. Virginians are saying loud and clear  that they want 100 percent clean energy and this commitment should be acknowledged and prioritized by our leaders..

61 cities across the country have now committed to transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy.

Other key findings from the poll include:

  • A majority of Virginians believe their state can meet a 100 percent clean energy goal by 2030. Fifty-five percent of voters say they believe this goal is realistic. This percentage jumped to 62 percent when survey respondents learned that over 50 cities across the country have already adopted this goal.
  • Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed say they would have a more favorable impression of an elected official who supports a goal of 100 percent clean energy. Nearly one-in-three voters (31 percent) say they would be “much more favorable” towards such an official.

See the full survey results here.

“State and local leaders across the country should take note: our most recent survey found that at least two-thirds of voters in every state we polled support transitioning to 100% renewable energy sources and a majority would feel more favorable towards a local official if they supported 100% renewable energy,” Elizabeth Sena, partner at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, said.

GQR conducted the survey among 500 registered voters in Virginia between December 13 and 17, 2017 using live interviewers. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

  • Roger Miller

    Massively misleading poll. Physically … as in physics … can’t get to 100%. Best we can do is 80%. Need to get the last 20% from nuclear if we want to decarbon. That means finding a way to keep nuclear plants operating past their “useful life.” Sierra is once again barking up a tree on the endangered species list.

    • A_Siegel

      Simply, to assert impossible to do due to ‘physics’ is absurd. Want to make a case that economical and EROEI (energy return on energy invested) and other reasonable ‘measures’/considerations make a ‘100% renewable’ a bad target, then there is lots of space for discussion. (See, for example, some comments from an NREL researcher in this Roberts’ duck curve discussion: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/3/20/17128478/solar-duck-curve-nrel-researcher) You would be in strong / good company for that discussion. Assertion, however, that this is somehow ‘physically’ impossible is not reasonable.

      Btw, why not look more closely at the polling/discussion. “Nuclear” isn’t mentioned. For many concerned about climate change and the need to move to a low-GHG energy system ASAP, the maintenance of at least existing nuclear power plants(*where there are not (clear) serious safety issues) is part of that path forward. (Additional/new nuclear power (whether large plants, SMRs, or some future fusion potential) raises other discussions/issues, including the GHG reduction per $ invested, electricity system prices,) The polling structure doesn’t obviate one from considering maintaining existing nuclear for several decades to come as part of the path forward since, well, it wasn’t polled/discussed one way or another.

      • Most likely, many nuke plants will stick around for decades, also hydro plants of course, while renewable energy grows by leaps and bounds and eventually coal goes away, then natural gas (the so-called “bridge fuel”) goes away as well. Combine that with electrification of the vehicle fleet, and at that point, we’ll be at or close to a 100% carbon-free economy. Which, not coincidentally, is where the science tells us we need to be to head off climate catastrophe.

    • Of course we can – and must – get to 100% clean energy. See https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CountriesWWS.pdf And no, the poll isn’t misleading, unless you think that poll after poll after poll which have shown overwhelming support among the American public for a clean energy transition are all misleading. As for nuclear power, I’m perfectly fine with keeping the reactors we’ve got, but it’s ridiculously expensive to build more.