Poll: Broad Support Among North Carolinians for Offshore Wind, Transition to 100% Clean Energy

Poll: Broad Support Among North Carolinians for Offshore Wind, Transition to 100% Clean Energy Sources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13th, 2021

Media Contact: Katharine Kollins, Southeastern Wind Coalition, (303) 564-9687, katharinek@sewind.org

Raliegh, N.C. - A new poll released today shows broad public support for offshore wind, and 77% of North Carolina voters think the primary goal of North Carolina’s energy policy should be achieving 100% clean energy. The poll was commissioned by the Southeastern Wind Coalition and was conducted by Nexus Polling, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication between Nov. 12-16, 2020.

“The pandemic’s impact on North Carolina’s economy is shining a light on the state’s need to pursue industries that not only expand existing businesses, but also create new investment opportunities,” said Katharine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition. “Offshore wind and the robust manufacturing supply chain required to support the wind industry meets that need. This poll confirms that North Carolinians understand that dynamic and believe offshore wind and other clean energy technologies should be prioritized as part of our state’s energy policy.”

More than six in 10 (61%) North Carolina voters say developing renewable energy sources like solar and wind should be prioritized over other sources, and 89% say that renewables are very important (59%) or somewhat important (30%) to North Carolina’s future. More than seven in 10 strongly (33%) or somewhat (38%) support the development of offshore wind farms. Majorities of voters also believe the buildout of offshore wind along North Carolina’s coast would have a positive impact on jobs (70%), the state’s economy (69%), air quality (69%), and climate change (62%).

“North Carolina voters see that expanding offshore wind will bring a range of important benefits to their state,” said Dr. Edward Maibach, Director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. “More good jobs, a stronger economy, and cleaner air are the immediate benefits that are obvious to most voters, but many also see a longer-term benefit in the form of limiting climate change.”

Given North Carolina’s existing assets in the land-based wind manufacturing supply chain, strong port infrastructure, and a substantial wind resource off the coast, the state is already well-positioned to be a leader in the offshore wind industry, further boosting the state’s economy and creating new jobs. The poll finds that North Carolinians understand the industry’s significant job creation potential, with 70% saying that offshore wind farms here would have a positive impact on the state’s job market.
 
“North Carolina is well positioned to seize a critical energy and jobs-creating opportunity,” said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. “North Carolina voters strongly support the development of an offshore wind industry.”

Nexus Polling, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, conducted a representative survey of 656 registered voters in North Carolina on November 12-16, 2020. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4% at the 95% confidence level.

Toplines for the poll are available here.

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The Southeastern Wind Coalition is a 501(c)3 that works to advance the land-based and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers.  For more information about the Southeastern Wind Coalition visit http://www.sewind.org.