Last week in Columbus, Ohio leaders in the wind energy industry held a press conference to tout the economic impact of wind within Ohio.
Not reported in this article is the political backdrop. Ohio passed its renewable portfolio standard (Senate Bill 221) in 2008. This legislation mandated that each year Ohio utilities obtain an increasing percentage of electricity from renewable sources. Wind energy has become the renewable of choice because of Ohio’s decent wind resource, the availability of the federal tax credit support and the decreasing cost of onshore wind systems. Now, new legislation is pending in the Ohio Senate (Senate Bill 58) that some believe may be used as a vehicle to reduce or eliminate the portfolio standard.
Currently, SB 58 focuses on reforming or limiting (depends on your perspective) Ohio’s energy efficiency laws that were also passed as part of SB 221. The Wind industry is clearly concerned that SB 58 could be amended to address the renewable energy standards. We should expect to hear much more about renewable energy policy during the balance of this General Assemble from both the renewable sector and Ohio business generally.