Library filed under Energy Policy from Ohio
Environmental groups from Spain, France and the United Kingdom have now joined North American organizations in opposing a plan to build a pilot wind farm in western Lake Erie, near the Ohio shore, along the U.S. side of the border.
The Ohio House of Representatives will consider eliminating Ohio's energy efficiency and renewable energy standards. Introduced today by Rep. Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, House Bill 554 is a companion to Senate Bill 320, introduced two weeks ago by Cincinnati Republican Sen. Bill Seitz.
A long-stalled, controversial wind farm in Champaign County recently took a big step toward construction but a debate over the future of Ohio’s renewable energy rules could continue to slow its development.
Kasich’s team told Seitz they didn’t want the standards to be frozen indefinitely. Seitz said he would come up with a definite date, which led to the planned end-date of Dec. 31, 2019. The two sides met about six weeks ago to talk about it.
State Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, said the draft legislation circulated last week tacks another three years onto a current two-year delay in phasing in state targets for use of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy by Ohio power companies.
Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, has been circulating a draft of a three-year extension of the freeze and could introduce it as a bill as soon as next week, according to lawmakers and lobbyists who are closely following it. The bill would seek to implement some of the recommendations of the Energy Mandates Study Committee, a joint House-Senate panel that issued a final report in September.
The language for proposed amendments to the Ohio Constitution dealing with renewable energy and legislative ethics was approved by state Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday.
Northwestern Ohio officials are lining up behind a legislative proposal to allow more local control of where wind farms can be built, a plan that would help to get around restrictions passed last year.
A two-year suspension of the government wind energy mandates that were imposed on Ohio utilities will become permanent if the September recommendation of a bicameral legislative panel there is followed. The primary reason cited for the decision was uncertainty over President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
Government requirements for the use of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy by Ohio power companies would be suspended indefinitely under recommendations released Wednesday by a legislative panel. The Energy Mandates Study Committee's report cites legal uncertainty and a need for "greater clarity" surrounding proposed federal clean power rules among reasons for the recommendation.
Ohio’s clean-energy benchmarks are more likely to be reduced than repealed, according to the leaders of a special legislative panel that has been studying the topic. The Energy Mandates Study Committee held its final meeting on Monday, and its members have until Sept. 30 to deliver recommendations to Ohio House and Senate leaders.
A research group says a new law freezing the state’s green-energy standards has led to significant declines in the wind and solar industry in Ohio. But Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler says the study is getting some blow back from a key backer of that law.
Ohio’s two-year timeout on its mandate that utilities get more of their power from renewable and advanced technology sources has dampened investment in what were once booming solar and wind industries in the state, according to a study released Tuesday.
The use of renewable energy in manufacturing, meanwhile, hovers at 8% to 9%, and it’s not guaranteed to soar. A June study by the International Renewable Energy Agency found that the figure could grow to more than a quarter by 2030, or a third if some form of carbon pricing takes effect—or, under current deployment plans and government policies, it could stagnate at 10%.
He noted that critics of the energy standards have two years to come up with an alternative. “If they don’t give us something that works, we go back to the old standards,” he said. He defended the increased setback restrictions on wind turbines by saying, “Private property rights are important. People choose to live somewhere. You just don’t go in there and disrupt their life.”
"A difference between Ohio and Michigan is that wind turbine regulations are set at the state level in Ohio but locally in Michigan," Martis said. "If these kind of new regulations were put in place throughout Michigan, wind developers would face the need to negotiate directly with property owners instead of seeking out agreements with non-participating parties.
“It is not right to have the setback measured from a home – it should be from a property line,” the Auglaize Neighbors United group says on its website. “If the wind company wants to intrude on the neighbor’s property, it needs to get an easement and compensate the landowner.”
Kasich told reporters Monday that pausing phase-in of targets set in 2008 is a victory for Ohio’s economy. The old law said 25 percent of Ohio’s energy should come from alternative sources by 2025. The new law continues that goal in 2017 unless a better alternative is found. Kasich says the 25-percent figure was “without any real science behind it.”
Julie Johnson, whose rural Urbana property is in the footprint of an approved 110-turbine EverPower project in Champaign County, said she has heard that all before. The green-energy sky, she says, is not falling. “It’s always something with those people,” she said of the wind-energy companies. “If they don’t get their way, they say they’re done. And then they don’t go away. That’s why we’ve been so dogged on this every step of the way.”
Gov. John Kasich has added his signature to much-debated legislation freezing renewable energy and efficiency mandates for two years, pending a review by a new study committee.