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Consumers and corporations favoring renewables according to polls

Two surveys backed by wind energy company Vestas show the continuing rise in renewable energy interest from both consumers worldwide and investing corporations.

The Global Consumer Wind Study 2012, prepared by TNS Gallup, says 85 percent of global consumers want more renewable energy, with 49 percent willing to pay more for products made with renewable energy. Participating in the survey are 24,000 respondents from more than 20 countries.

In the same study, it was found that 45 percent of consumers surveyed perceive climate change as one of the top three challenges facing the world today, with 62 percent of respondents saying they would be more willing to buy products from brands that use wind energy.

Meanwhile, corporations are continuing to show preference for investing in renewable energy. The Corporate Renewable Energy Index Report 2012 an index of companies that use renewable energy voluntarily prepared by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, indicated that global investment in new renewable capacity is still rising.

Net investment in renewable power capacity outpaced that of fossil fuel generation in 2011, collecting $237 billion compared with $223 billion for additional fossil fuel generation.

“The evidence presented by the surveys is extremely encouraging, clearly showing that consumers are demanding more renewable energy in the grid and are showing a willingness to pay a premium price for products made with renewable energy,” says Morten Albaek, Vestas Group senior vice president for marketing, communication and corporate relations.

Vestas says corporations are part of the solution to meeting the growing global energy demand without increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

“We have already seen many companies such as Ikea purchasing wind turbines as part of a commitment to get all of its energy from renewable sources,” said Mr. Albaek. “Recently, the U.K.’s largest insurance group Aviva invested in a wind power plant in Spain as they wanted a low-risk, strong-yield investment.”

But while the Corporate Renewable Energy Index Report shows how corporations are active in purchasing their own renewable energy directly, Bloomberg New Energy Finance chief Michael Liebreich says the pace of growth in companies using renewable energy would depend on the level of political and regulatory support, and on further progress in the cost-competitiveness of these technologies. – Nico P. Arboleda

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