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Californians overwhelmingly support wind power New statewide survey shows strong support for wind power in the golden state

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Californians overwhelmingly favor (83%) the expansion of wind energy production in the state and more than 96 percent of respondents believe wind power should be a part of the state’s future mix of renewable energy sources according to results of a new statewide survey released today.

The statewide telephone survey of 500 Californians, conducted by California State University professor Dr. Dennis Tootelian was commissioned by FPL Energy, the state’s largest producer of wind energy. The August 2006 survey measured public awareness and perceptions about wind energy in five California cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento and San Francisco. 

Among the findings:

  • Four out of five California residents believe expanding renewable energy sources will have a positive impact on California in the next 10 years.
  • Nine in ten (90%) expressed support for the state’s goal to have renewable energy sources provide 20 percent of the state’s power needs by 2010.

“California has traditionally been a leader in promoting clean energy alternatives and it’s clear that Californians strongly favor wind power as a part of the state’s long-standing commitment to climate change through the efforts to diversify the fuel supply and reduce power plant emissions,” said Bryan Fennell, vice president of business management for FPL Energy. “Although wind cannot solve all of California’s energy needs, we believe it can play a greater role in diversifying the state’s current fuel mix and helping the environment. The survey results confirm that Californian’s consider wind to be an important renewable energy resource.”                                   

California led the nation in installed wind energy for the last 25 years. However, the state’s premier status is now being challenged by a number of others that have come to appreciate the environmental and economic benefits of wind power development.

Other states are aggressively competing for the investment capital needed for wind power development.  As a result, according to the American Wind Energy Association, in 2006 Texas moved ahead of California as the top state in cumulative wind power capacity.

In 2005, FPL Energy operated wind farms in California produced 1.8 million megawatts of power. It would take approximately 3.6 million barrels of oil to generate the same amount of energy. This offset more than 500,000 tons of emissions which would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere. Nationally, wind power now exceeds 10,000 megawatts in generating capacity, enough to power more than 2.5 million American households on any given day.

Other survey questions measured the importance of the attributes of wind energy. Ninety two percent (92%) of respondents, said wind energy was important because it releases no pollutants into the air or water. In addition, four out of five surveyed consider the following benefits of wind power to also be very important:

  • Wind energy never runs out (89%)
  • Wind energy can reduce the need for imported fuel (82%)

FPL Energy is a competitive energy supplier utilizing clean fuels such as, natural gas, wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear to generate electricity. It is a subsidiary of FPL Group (NYSE:FPL), one of the nation’s largest providers of electricity-related services with annual revenues of more than $11 billion. FPL Group’s principal subsidiary is Florida Power & Light Company, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serves 4.4 million customer accounts in Florida. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.comwww.FPLGroup.com and www.FPLEnergy.com