Ohio HB 114 Renewable Energy Standards Bill Would Cripple Wind Industry, Says AWEA

Source: By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica • Posted: Friday, March 24, 2017

The American Wind Energy Association has come out against an Ohio state bill which would reduce the state’s renewable energy standards into an unenforceable goal, saying that it would slam the brakes on wind power jobs and investment.

The Ohio House Public Utilities Commission held a hearing on Tuesday to discuss House Bill 114 — which in summary is intended to “revise the provisions governing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reduction and to alter funding allocations under the Home Energy Assistance Program.” More specifically, the 73-page bill will remove the requirements of consumers to pay for the extra costs included in providing clean electricity generation.

“By rapidly advancing this bill, the Ohio House is needlessly jeopardizing jobs, private investment and rural development potential that wind energy has demonstrated in Ohio and across the nation,” said Andrew Gohn, Director, Eastern State Policy, for the American Wind Energy Association. “Ohio is the beating heart of wind power manufacturing, with 62 active factories, more than any other state. Keeping the RPS in place will keep these businesses healthy and Ohio competitive with other states that are choosing to expand their own RPS policies.”

According to the AWEA, wind power has generated nearly 3,000 jobs in the state and over $900 million in wind project investments — numbers that will only continue to grow if the renewable energy standards are left in place. When zooming out, neighboring states to Ohio have seen even greater investment figures, showcasing just how valuable the renewable energy standards could be for Ohio. Neighboring Michigan, which recently chose to expand its own renewable energy standards, has attracted a whopping $3 billion in private wind energy investment, while Indiana and Pennsylvania have seen $4 billion and $2.7 billion respectively.

“House Bill 114 as proposed would take Ohio even farther in the wrong direction than the earlier bill vetoed by Gov. Kasich,” said Gohn. “By rushing this bill forward with only a single hearing, the Ohio House is turning its back on the local communities, schools and businesses who benefit from the positive economic growth of wind energy.”

“The public deserves representatives who apply careful consideration on economic and energy issues. We look forward to working with the Ohio Senate to arrive at stable long-term energy policy through a more deliberative process.”