December 12, 2013

afdd3599b10b9e24-offshoreVolturnUS 1:8. photo by Ramona du Houx

Support for wind power in Maine is consistently high across every region of the state and is highest in regions where successful wind energy projects are already operating, according to a newly released poll taken of Maine voters last summer.

“This poll confirms what we’ve long known: The people of Maine are optimistic and enthusiastic about wind power,” said Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association. “People of all political parties and ages, in towns across the state, agree that wind energy is good for Maine.”

The Wind for ME coalition released the results of the poll today.

“Maine people believe in a wind-powered future; we see that this is a safe, clean way to increase our energy independence and protect our environment,” said Paul Williamson, director of the Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative. “Wind energy is a growing sector of Maine’s economy, creating good jobs and it can help lower and stabilize energy costs, no wonder the people of Maine are so enthusiastic about it.”

A late-summer survey sampled 604 registered Maine voters, for a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent, and found:

A huge majority – 87 percent – of voters agree that wind power is the type of zero emission, clean and renewable energy source that should be encouraged in Maine

This includes 91 percent of Democrats, 86 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of independent voters:

  • 75 percent of people have positive feelings about using wind energy as a source of electricity

  • 79 percent favor locating wind turbines in Maine and using wind power to generate electricity

  • 74 percent of respondents want the state do more to support the use of wind energy, or to continue with current laws, while only 15 percent would support rolling back current state laws that support wind energy

“The people of Maine want lawmakers to continue to support wind energy, not to rollback the progress we’ve already made,” said Payne.

By a wide margin, respondents, regardless of political party, said that wind energy holds down the cost of energy. And 60 percent said that wind energy helps the environment, while only 16 percent said it hurts the environment. The poll was conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research.

This chart shows support for wind power is strong across the state.

Inland region: Aroostook, Franklin, Oxford, Piscataquis and Somerset

Central Coast: Hancock, Penobscot, Waldo and Washington

South East: Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc

South: Cumberland and York