In Washington D.C., solar energy is sometimes seen as a political issue. But research suggests constituents – both Democrats and Republicans – feel differently.

A solar consulting company called PowerScout* pulled the addresses of one-and-a-half million political donors. Then, they used satellite images to identify which of their homes had solar panels. Attila Toth is CEO and Founder of PowerScout.

Toth: “Across the twenty states that we looked at, Democratic and Republican party donors installed residential solar systems at very comparable rates.”

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Democrats were slightly ahead in states where solar is just emerging and the financial benefits are less clear. Toth suspects that environmental stewardship was the driving motivation in these markets.

But installation rates were very even in places like California, where solar is well-established and there are clear benefits to the bottom line. In Hawaii, Republicans were even ahead.

So even if their motivations are different, Republicans and Democrats are both investing in solar energy.

Toth: “When lawmakers and policy makers think about the future of clean energy, they should reach across party lines.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Editor’s note: PowerScout describes itself as a clean energy advisor and not a consulting company. It says it provides “clean energy solutions that allow you to save money and the planet.”

Bud Ward

Bud Ward is Editor of Yale Climate Connections. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as Assistant Director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission on Air Quality,...