Quantcast

Ohio's Green Energy Success Stories Prove Renewable Energy Policies Work to Stimulate Economy, Reduce Pollution

Business

The timing of Environment Ohio's latest report is certainly no coincidence.

The advocacy group issued Ohio’s Clean Energy Success Story, Year 4 a day after the debate over the state's 2008 renewable energy law nearly came to a head. The Ohio Senate’s Public Utilities Committee planned to meet this week and possibly vote on Senate Bill (SB) 58, which contains drastic changes to the Clean Energy Law proposed by committee chairman Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati). According to The Plain Dealer, Seitz abruptly cancelled the meeting without explanation.

Environment Ohio's report highlights several clean energy wins made possible by the original law. The organization hopes the break in legislative action gives committee members a chance to examine the savings and deployment of renewable technologies that took place during the first few years of Ohio's Clean Energy Law.

A map of renewable energy projects approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), as of October 2013. Graphic credit: Environment Ohio

“The Clean Energy Law’s proven track record in delivering energy savings and spurring renewable energy development in Ohio show that the law is working as intended," Christian Adams, an Environment Ohio state associate, said. "Senate Bill 58 would take Ohio back to the ‘bad old days’ of wasteful energy use and over-reliance on dirty energy sources."

The report largely takes a why-stop-now approach. One of its chief points is that 2012 marked the first time the state's largest utilities—FirstEnergy, Duke Energy, Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) and American Electric Power (AEP) all met the law's efficiency requirements. Environment Ohio applauds those companies for their advances, including:

  • Appliance recycling programs operated by the four companies, which offer financial incentives to recycle inefficient appliances. Collectively, they recycled 21,899 inefficient refrigerators, 5,698 freezers and 823 room air conditioners last year.

  • DP&L's distribution of more than 1.7 million high-efficiency lighting fixtures to customers. The lighting program saved enough energy to power more than nearly 7,000 Ohio homes for a year at a cost of 3.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, or one-third of the retail cost of electricity in Ohio.

  • FirstEnergy agreed last year to buy renewable energy credits from Iberdrola's 304 megawatt (MW) Blue Creek Wind Farm project, which helped the company meet a buy-in requirement.

Solar and wind capacity in Ohio have also skyrocketed since 2008.

Wind and solar capacity in Ohio. Graphic credit: Environment Ohio

Instead of ridding Ohio of renewable energy requirements as Seitz suggested, Environment Ohio calls for more support from public officials in making Ohio an even greener state. Suggestions in the report include more facilitation utilities in securing long-term contracts for renewable energy and the development of a robust plan from the state Environmental Protection Agency to keep Ohio in line with federal regulations.

"The PUCO should support long-term projects that offer significant environmental and economic benefits to Ohio, such as AEP’s 49 MW Turning Point Solar Project (which was denied approval by the PUCO in January 2013)," the report reads.

Meanwhile, the meeting regarding SB 58 has yet to be rescheduled. An anonymous environmental lobbyist indicated that not all Ohio republicans are behind Seitz, telling The Plain Dealer that "it's chaos" in the statehouse.

“The Clean Energy Law is getting results for the Buckeye State,” Adams said. “Four years in, Ohio’s Clean Energy Law is reducing pollution, cutting our dependence on coal and gas, creating jobs and saving Ohioans money.”

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More