Recent rule changes in Ohio would not fully reward solar energy and other renewable resources for the flexibility they bring to the market, say advocates.
Industry leaders who met in Canton, Ohio last week are optimistic about the future of fuel cell buses and say the fuel cell industry could add 65,000 jobs for the Midwest by 2032.
Ohio energy companies, state agencies and other groups are forming some unexpected alliances in their positions for and against a federal proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power over other forms of electricity.
A federal tariff case that could raise the cost of most new solar panels is already casting a shadow on parts of Ohio’s solar energy industry — but could also create new opportunities for one of the state’s manufacturers. The case before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) could result in a tariff on imports of crystalline silicon solar cells. If adopted, it “would cut new projected solar projects by two-thirds,” reported Dan Whitten of the Solar Energy Industry Association at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference earlier this month. Melink Corporation in Cincinnati is already seeing impacts in the form of “increased module prices in anticipation that the tariff will get passed,” said company founder and CEO Steve Melink. “So manufacturers are adjusting prices.”
“The uncertainty is messing it up a bit,” said Dovetail Solar & Wind President Al Frasz in Cleveland.
Despite Scott Pruitt’s claim that “the war on coal is over,” clean energy advocates say repeal of the Clean Power Plan is unlikely to bring back coal jobs to Ohio or revitalize the state’s coal-fired power plants.
The Trump administration’s shifts in energy and environmental policy likely won’t change the downward trajectory of America’s coal sector, industry experts reported at a panel in Cleveland this week.
Two bills in the Ohio Senate aim to ease restrictions in a 2014 law that have effectively blocked the development of new commercial wind farms in the state.
Despite a big win from Ohio regulators last month, FirstEnergy has filed papers asking for still more review.
A draft Department of Energy report shows mainly minor or negligible short-term impacts from a plan to construct and operate six wind turbines approximately eight miles offshore of Cleveland.
New poll results show that a majority of Ohio voters continue to support state policies to encourage more use of clean energy, including a renewable portfolio standard and revised wind turbine setbacks — even in the state’s coal country region.