During this year’s presidential campaign, the renewable energy industry and the tax credits that support it receives have become a hot political topic.

Renewable energy enjoys broad support in the US where people expect the government to support emerging clean power technologies and the 2012 Global Consumer Wind Study would make useful reading for both candidates.

Americans more concerned about the state of the economy than the threat of climate change, that much is certain from the results of the GCWS: 41% of respondents ranked climate change in the lowest category as a threat facing the world and 51% ranked the economic recession in the highest category.

Last month, President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail in Iowa, where 20% of the state’s electricity comes from wind, and berated Romney for calling wind energy “imaginary”.

Despite Romney’s disparaging remarks about President Barack Obama’s attempts to mitigate climate change at the Republican National Convention in early September, Americans appear very attuned to the impact the electric power industry has on the environment.

When asked to what extent does the electric utility industry cause human-action induced climate changes, 32% of GCWS respondents answered to a certain degree and 39% answered to a high or very high degree.

The overwhelming majority (67%) of respondents said that they would prefer to have their electricity sources supplied by renewables, versus 9% for fossil fuels and 8% for nuclear.

78% of respondents said that they would prefer to see renewables such as wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal developed over the next five years.

Concerns about energy independence fuel much of this support for renewables: 79% of respondents expressed moderate to high concerns about dependence on fossil fuel imports.

To see this information and more, click on the image above or the link below. To read the full story about Energy Transparency and the wind industry in the US and around the world, visit the Energy Transparency hub on Breaking Energy here.

This piece appears on Breaking Energy as part of the Energy Transparency series in partnership with Vestas.

Click here to view the full infographic.