Now in its fourth year, Ohio's Clean Energy Law (S.B.221) continues to spur investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to a new report from the Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center.
Passed in 2008, the Clean Energy Law established benchmarks for Ohio investor-owned utilities to get 12.5% of their electricity from renewable sources and save 22% of their electricity through energy efficiency by 2025, Environment Ohio explains. In addition, at least half of the renewable energy required must be purchased from in-state projects.
"The Clean Energy Law is getting results for the Buckeye State," says Christian Adams, Environment Ohio state associate. "Four years in, Ohio's Clean Energy Law is reducing pollution, cutting our dependence on coal and gas, creating jobs and saving Ohioans money."
The report – "Ohio's Clean Energy Success Story, Year 4" – finds that between January 2009, when the Clean Energy Law took effect, and December 2012, the law has resulted in 5,000 GWh of cumulative energy savings and reduced peak electricity demand by 1.583 GW. In addition, 313 MW of wind power and 25 MW of solar energy were added in 2012.
"We decided to shift our focus to Ohio from Indiana primarily because of the passage of S.B.221. We knew the law would create a market for clean energy that we could compete for," comments Dan Litchfield, senior business developer with Iberdrola Renewables. "We are looking forward to further investment in the state and hopefully a higher percentage of Ohio labor now that there are some firms with wind energy construction experience."Â Â
Ohio Environment notes that the report comes as Ohio lawmakers debate a new energy bill. The organization says S.B.58, introduced by Public Utilities Committee Chairman Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, proposes to alter significant portions of the Clean Energy Law, including expanding the ability of large industrial energy users to exempt themselves from the law's efficiency requirements and eliminating the buy-Ohio component of the renewable energy standard.
Environment Ohio is urging Gov. John Kasich to veto any version of the bill that may cross his desk.