Wind energy is on the rise in Ohio and is providing huge environmental benefits for the state, according to a new report released by Environment Ohio.
The report says that wind energy is now providing 988,000 MWh of electricity in the state, and Ohio could be on track to see an additional 918,294 MWh increase in wind production in the next five years.
According to the report, Ohio's wind energy is already avoiding more than 597,613 metric tons of carbon pollution – the equivalent of taking 124,503 cars off the road – 562 tons of nitrogen oxide and 694 tons of sulfur dioxide. In addition, the report says wind power is saving the state 267,007,000 gallons of water per year – enough to meet the needs of 10,602 people.
"Wind energy has given us a lot to be thankful for this Holiday Season," says Vivian Daly of Environment Ohio. "Now our state and national leaders need to take action to make sure we don't leave these environmental benefits on the table."
Environment Ohio says the state's recent progress on wind is the direct result of a clean energy law named S.B.221 and federal incentives for wind power. However, the group adds, the state policy is threatened in Ohio's senate, and the investment tax credit and the production tax credit are set to expire at year-end.
"The wind power industry is healing our environment and stimulating our economy," comments Eric Ritter, communications and strategy manager for LEEDCo, a Cleveland-based non-profit developing a six-turbine offshore wind project in Lake Erie known as Icebreaker. "The State of Ohio is alreadyÂ No. 4 in the U.S. for wind industry employment. Continued support for local projects will help solidify Ohio's leading role in the global wind turbine supply chain."