NewEnergyNews: RX FOR OHIO: RES, WIND AND SUN

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    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    RX FOR OHIO: RES, WIND AND SUN

    Think of the Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) as a doctor’s prescription. The state is suffering economically from the decay of its manufacturing base and it is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for energy.

    The RES is the Rx the state needs to get well. It prescribes a little more New Energy every year for the foreseeable future. The state’s system slowly, surely, responds. It builds an increasing capacity for producing clean New Energy, growing economically until it no longer suffers from dirty energy and economic woes.

    Ohio is about to become the 25th of the forward thinking states with an RES. A study last year found that a boost in wind energy production of which Ohio is fully capable would generate investment of $8.2 billion and create 3,100 jobs in the state. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates Ohio’s new RES may actually generate $12 billion in investments!

    One of the first signs of returning health in Ohio will be the conversion of the rust belt infrastructure into New Energy businesses and factories producing and selling the thousands of machine parts necessary for a wind turbine.

    Ohio’s manufacturing potential is also expected to be the basis for enormous growth in solar panel production. Think Ohio is an unlikely place to be a solar energy hub? Germany is the world leader in solar and it has the solar energy potential of Anchorage, Alaska. Ohio has already spawned First Solar, the thin film solar sector’s biggest success story.

    Erin Bowser, Director, Environment Ohio: "We may have more wind turbines going up, but the whole northwestern part of the state is in position to manufacture solar panels…"

    Michigan’s Governor Granholm is pushing HER legislature to pass an RES. Smart. Michigan needs the same medicine.


    Besides smartly applied tax credits, an RES may be the most important thing voters can ask of their political leaders. Get on the board! (click to enlarge)

    Group says wind energy an economic boom in Ohio
    John McCarthy, April 24, 2008 (AP via (Houston Chronicle)

    WHO
    Ohio Governor Ted Strickland; Environment Ohio Director Erin Bowser; American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

    Ohio has lots of businesses and factories ready to go to work building a solar energy infrastructure. (click to enlarge)

    WHAT
    Governor Strickland has pushed through the Ohio legislature a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) requiring the state’s utilities to get 12.5% of their power from New Energy sources by 2025.

    WHEN
    - In 2009: Ohio’s new RES requires its utilities to get 0.25% of their power from New Energy sources and to ramp up from there.
    - By 2020: Ohio’s wind energy industry intends to produce 20% of the state’s electricity.

    And Ohio has lots of businesses and factories ready to go to work building a wind energy infrastructure. (click to enlarge)

    WHERE
    - Both Ohio’s legislative houses have agreed on the RES and Strickland is expected to sign momentarily.
    - Bowling Green: The state’s only operational wind farm, 4 turbines. Lots of room for growth.
    - Ohio’s northwest and Lake Erie: Best locations in the state for wind farms.

    WHY
    - A 2007 study by Environment Ohio: If wind power is producing 20% of the state’s electricity by 2020, it will generate investments of $8.2 billion and 3,100 jobs.
    - AWEA estimates the 12.5% by 2025 RES will generate $12 billion in investments.
    - Wind accounted for nearly a third of new U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2007 and accounted for investments of $9 billion. In ONE year!

    Ohio has rich wind energy assets. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    Erin Bowser, Director, Environment Ohio: "We basically looked at what would happen if we met our need for electricity with wind energy rather than stay the course…There already more than 100 companies based in Ohio that in some way, shape or form are creating (energy) jobs."

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