Leading companies that do business in Ohio are already adding large amounts of renewable energy and energy efficiency to their nationwide portfolios, regardless of opposition to the Clean Power Plan by some of the state’s top officials.
An Ohio legislative committee’s report recommending a continued freeze of the state’s clean energy and efficiency standards includes recommendations to further weaken those policies.
A report from an Ohio lawmakers’ committee left out crucial topics that state law required the group to consider in its review of the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency laws.
Ohio farmers, businesses and others remain interested in solar energy, despite the impact of a legislative freeze in the state’s renewable portfolio standards, and a university program is helping them make informed decisions.
In 2014, Ohio Senate Bill 310 temporarily rolled back renewable and energy efficiency standards. On its heels, state House Bill 483 significantly increased the property setback for wind turbines, thus increasing project costs. Now clean energy business executives and advocates say that money is flowing out of Ohio at a rapid rate as renewable energy companies look to greener pastures for their products and services.
Ohio has three years to submit a plan under federal Clean Power Plan rules issued earlier this month. But action by a state legislative committee next month could shape that plan and how much it will cost.
In early June, workers began installation of a $3.5 million solar farm next to the Blue Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, part of an ambitious plan by a Twin Cities regional government agency to use marginal land it owns for solar installations. Another solar farm and community solar gardens are also in the works.
Both witnesses slated for a meeting with Ohio lawmakers on Monday want the state to scrap its clean energy standards altogether—a move that supporters of the law say would cause Ohio to miss out on investments and job growth.
Fuel cell technology in Ohio is already moving from research and development into commercialization, according to industry experts at the 2015 Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium. Moreover, that growth is taking place despite recent setbacks in state policy.
Schools, cities and businesses could lose out if Ohio further rolls back state policies that have spurred job growth in the state’s clean energy sector, industry leaders say.