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National Poll Shows More Than Nine Out of 10 Americans Want Solar Now

October 8, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) – A vast majority of Americans, across all political parties, overwhelmingly support development and funding of solar energy, and their support for solar has remained consistent over the last year. These and other findings were reported today in the 2009 SCHOTT Solar BarometerTM, a nationally representative survey conducted by independent polling firm Kelton Research.

The survey found that 92 percent of Americans think it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar energy. This strong support for solar remains unchanged since Americans were asked the same questions in the June 2008 SCHOTT Solar Barometer (94%). (The difference is within the margin of error for both polls.)

This support for solar power is consistent across political party affiliation with 89 percent of Republicans, 94 percent of Democrats and 93 percent of Independents agreeing that it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar power.

Furthermore, close to eight in 10 (77%) Americans feel that the development of solar power, and other renewable energy sources, should be a major priority of the federal government, including the financial support needed. This sentiment also remains the same since June 2008 (77%).

“The SCHOTT Solar Barometer confirms our belief that Americans are ready for solar energy,” said Dr. Gerald Fine, President & CEO of SCHOTT North America. “We’ve invested over $100 million in Albuquerque, New Mexico and created hundreds of green jobs manufacturing innovative solar products.”

“With controversial debates happening all over America, this isn’t one of them,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “Americans overwhelmingly want clean, reliable solar energy for their homes and businesses. It’s now time for Congress to listen to the American public and prioritize the use of solar in upcoming energy legislation. By expanding the U.S. market for solar, Congress will reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs in all 50 states.”

The poll also showed that if they had to choose one energy source to financially support if they were President, 43 percent of Americans would opt for solar over other sources such as wind (17%), natural gas (12%) and nuclear (10%).

Almost half of all Americans (49%) say they’re currently pondering solar power options for their home or business – and another three percent already have solar power. Among those who would like to take advantage of solar power at home or at work, seven in 10 (70%) envision they would make the change within the next five years.

But most feel they lack information – fewer than one in five (12%) can claim that they’re extremely informed about the subject of solar power in general. What’s more, almost three in four (74%) Americans admit they wish they knew more about solar power options for their home or business.

About the Survey’s Methodology:

The SCHOTT Solar Barometer Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between August 31st and September 8th, 2009 using an email invitation and an online survey. SCHOTT Solar, one of the trend-setting manufacturers of solar energy technologies, and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) commissioned the survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About SCHOTT Solar:

SCHOTT Solar’s high quality products exploit the virtually inexhaustible potential of the sun as a renewable source of energy. For this purpose SCHOTT Solar produces important components for photovoltaic applications and solar energy plants. In the photovoltaic industry, the company is one of the few integrated manufacturers of crystalline silicon wafers, cells and modules. Thanks to over 20 years of experience in thin-film technology, SCHOTT Solar also regards itself as one of the industry’s cutting-edge companies. In receiver production for solar power plants with parabolic trough technology, SCHOTT Solar considers itself to be the market and technology leader. The receivers are key components in large-scale power plants that generate electricity from solar energy centrally on the basis of parabolic trough technology and can supply entire cities with power. SCHOTT Solar has production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA and Spain. The company’s innovative power and technological expertise date back to the late 1950s. SCHOTT Solar GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international SCHOTT technology group. SCHOTT develops special materials, components and systems for the household appliance, pharmaceutical, solar energy, electronics, optical and automotive industries. With around 16,700 employees, the SCHOTT Group generated a worldwide turnover of over 2.1 billion Euros in fiscal year 2006/2007.

About SEIA:

Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Learn more at www.seia.org.

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