Ohio poised to loosen renewable energy standards in nationwide first

Source: Dan Gearino, Columbus Dispatch • Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ohio could become the first state to soften standards for utilities’ energy efficiency and renewable energy use if a fast-tracked bill passes the House this week as expected.

The state’s Senate Bill 310 would repeal requirements for power providers to source half their renewable energy in-state and would freeze annual increases in alternative energy integration for two years.Similar proposals have picked up steam elsewhere in the country, but Ohio’s effort could be the first to pass into law. More than two dozen other states have renewable energy requirements that aim to expand use of wind, solar and other technologies.

Chelsea Barnes, research analyst at the Keyes, Fox & Wiedman law firm that represents clean-energy companies, said “Ohio is an outlier” and cautioned that apparent support for the Ohio bill is not a trend.

But proponents of easing renewable standards say Ohio’s measures could encourage similar efforts in other states (Dan Gearino, Columbus Dispatch, May 20)