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Published on April 21st, 2014 | by AWEA

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Ohioans Are Bonkers About Renewable Energy (POLL)

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April 21st, 2014 by
 

Originally published on Into the Wind.
By Peebles Squire 

It’s official: Ohioans are big fans of clean energy, according to the results of a new survey released last Wednesday and summarized in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Out of 600 Ohio voters surveyed, 72 percent responded that they favored renewable energy sources over more traditional forms of energy. When asked if they were “strongly in favor,” 52 percent responded in the affirmative.

That’s right: more than half of Ohioans want to see more clean energy like wind power in their state.

What’s more, a whopping 86 percent of voters support utility energy efficiency rules, with 49 percent strongly in favor. The Ohio Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) contains just such a rule, so why is the Ohio Senate trying to stop it dead in its tracks?

“[R]elative to other polling we have done in Ohio and around the country, these results are consistent in the strong support that Ohio voters offer for more use of clean energy and greater use of energy efficiency,” said [polling firm FM3’s David] Metz during a news conference.

Opponents of clean energy and energy efficiency are fighting tooth-and-nail to put a freeze on the AEPS, a proven driver of jobs and manufacturing. Maybe it’s time for those opponents to listen to their constituents and help solidify Ohio’s status as a clean energy hub.

An Ohio wind turbine. Credit: Wikipedia user Fogonthedowns.

Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, which commissioned the survey, thinks the legislature should consider the AEPS’s benefits and the will of the electorate:

“Ohio is home to some 400 advanced energy companies employing 25,000 Ohioans,” said Ted Ford, president and CEO of Ohio AEE. “Ohio’s clean energy law is working. It’s saving money for consumers, creating jobs, and making Ohio competitive. And now, we can demonstrate that the voting public strongly supports it, too.”

And when asked what percentage of Ohio’s energy should come from wind and solar, on average, Ohioans said they would like to see a majority of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources, as much as 56 percent, said Metz.

The AEPS has helped revitalize Ohio’s manufacturing sector. The Buckeye State is the top location nationwide for manufacturers along the wind energy supply chain, with more than 60 factories churning out the complex tools and equipment needed to build and maintain wind turbines.

Ohio wind power represents a private investment of $775 million, and through smart policies like the AEPS, that number will continue to grow as the state hones its clean energy industry, driving more efficient, competitive technologies that are transforming the way we power the country.

The AEPS is a good deal for Ohioans, helping provide thousands of skilled, well-paying jobs, while saving consumers money through innovation and improved efficiency.

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About the Author

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Keep up with all the latest wind industry news at: http://www.aweablog.org/blog/



  • joelsk44039

    Solar and Wind: Not dispatchable on a day-ahead basis; cost many times more than similarly sized NG or coal facilities; require substantially higher maintenance costs and total cost of ownership. Without federal and state subsidies, neither would be financially feasible.

    • Bob_Wallace

      You are right that solar and wind are not dispatchable.

      You are quite wrong about your cost claims.

      Onshore wind in the US is now cheaper than natural gas generation. Solar in the SW is about even with NG.

      Both wind and solar are significantly cheaper than coal. Electricity from a new coal plant would be 2x to 3x the cost of new wind. And there’s coal’s very high external costs.

      O&M for wind and solar is very low.

      Wind and solar have received only a small percentage of the federal subsidies that have gone to fossil fuels.

      • joelsk44039

        O&M costs on 100 six MW wind turbines mounted on 100 foot high towers is dramatically more expensive than O&M on a similar capacity NG or coal-fired power plant. The practical output of wind and solar facilities doesn’t begin to approach the nameplate capacity of those technologies. Some studies puts the actual output closer to 40% of nameplate capacity. Both wind and solar need huge land areas for comparable output of NG or coal fired facilities. The Ivanpah Solar facility will eventually occupy over 9 square miles of land! The unintentional consequences of winged animal deaths from turbine blade impact and solar “zapping” is yet to be determined but may be catastrophic for certain species. Likewise, the micro-meteorological impact downwind from large wind farms is yet undetermined and may be substantial.
        I’m not against either of these technologies, but let’s be realistic. They will never fully replace fossil fuel derived power plants. In fact, more fossil fueled facilities will have to be ready on “stand-by” for times when the wind is too light or too intense and, of course, at night, when the sun doesn’t shine.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Joel, I simply don’t believe you. How about you give us your numbers and sources for wind vs. NG and coal?

          The “practical output” – that’s the capacity factor (CF). Yes the CF of wind and solar is lower than coal. Wind CF is probably a lot closer to coal than you realize. Wind CF, for more recently installed wind farms, is higher than NG and solar CF is close to that of NG. (Both have rather low CF for different reasons.)

          Wind uses much less land than I suspect you realize. How about giving us your number and let’s see what you’re talking about. Solar, in the amount we will likely use, will pretty much fit on existing rooftops and over parking lots and brownfields.

          There are 2,959,064.44 square miles of land in the US. Using 9 square miles for thermal solar is hardly going to show up if you calculate the percent.

          This – ” In fact, more fossil fueled facilities will have to be ready on “stand-by” for times when the wind is too light or too intense and, of course, at night, when the sun doesn’t shine.” – is simply false.

          Electricity demand is flattening and reducing in the US. As we add wind and solar we, obviously, burn less fossil fuels.

          Large thermal plants (coal and nuclear) require more spinning reserve than do wind and solar. Wind and solar are highly predictable hours in advance of any change in output. Abrupt failures of large thermal plants are not.

    • jm2112

      Like dirty energy is not subsidized? Sorry, but solar and wind do not cost many times more than coal. In some places they are already cheaper than coal and if the current pricing trend continues, five years or so, solar and wind will be much cheaper than natural gas or coal. In fact, the price of solar panels has fallen more than 75 percent since 2008.

      Sure, right now renewable technologies need to be subsidized a bit to be competitive, but not for ever. It is called investing in a future that is better.

      • joelsk44039

        “Dirty energy” is subsidized the same way as other businesses, with rapid depreciation of capital assets. What other subsidies do they receive?
        Both solar and wind have negative aspects that are mostly ignored by the public at large, including environmental impact and animal species deaths. Both solar and wind facilities take up huge land areas compared to fossil fueled plants. They remain impractical where power is needed most which is in heavily populated areas.
        Neither solar nor wind is dispatchable on a “day-ahead” basis, making the need for alternative sources of power, for those days of light or heavy wind or heavy overcast (and at night). Overall efficiency of both solar and wind technologies is substantially less than nameplate capacity, maybe as low as 40% for wind systems. O&M costs for wind farms is extraordinarily high as services must be provided to literally hundreds of systems mounted on high towers that must be individually accessed.
        The subsidies for current renewable systems is largely collected by highly profitable companies that “dabble” in these technologies which are not part of their main business model. And the cost to taxpayers for failure of renewable solar and wind companies has thus far been in the billions of dollars. Yet the cost of power derived from these sources is typically double or sometimes triple the cost of NG or coal, partly due to unforeseen problems but also due to remoteness of these systems from the transmission grids which must be brought to them, which increases the overall cost of both their capitalization and their output power pricing.

        • Rick Kargaard

          you are forgetting that mining or drilling for fossil fuel take up large land masses. There is also the roads, railways and pipelines for transport. Wind does have a footprint but it is not that large. Much solar can go on rooftops. fossil fuel recovery can only be done where the fuel can be found. Wind and solar are considerably more versatile.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The EPA estimates that 2,200 square miles (5,700 km²) of Appalachian forests will be cleared for mountain top removal coal extraction sites by the year 2012.

            That’s 1,408,000 acres. It does not include western open pit mines.

            Coal gives us about 40% of our electricity. If we generated 40% of our electricity with 3 MW wind turbines we would use about 36,000 acres for tower footings, access roads, transmission and ancillary buildings.

            2.5% as much land for wind as for MTR coal mining.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Open pit coal mining has disturbed more than 162,000 acres of land in Wyoming.

            That’s 4.5x the area needed for 40% wind and it’s only part of our coal supply.

          • Rick Kargaard

            Thanks for the numbers Bob. They verify what our eyes can see

          • Doug Cutler

            “And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
            Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
            Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
            Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away”

            John Prine – song “Paradise” – 1971

          • Otis11

            Wow. Just wow. I like those numbers, thank you for the info!

        • Calamity_Jean

          “Dirty energy” is subsidized the same way as other businesses, with rapid depreciation of capital assets. What other subsidies do they receive?

          Dirty energy is indirectly subsidized by being allowed to pollute air, water, and land. This causes health hazards for humans, plants, domestic stock, and wildlife.

  • bachcole

    Cold fusion is on it’s way and ALL other energy sources will soon be obsolete.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you listen really hard you can hear the wagon carrying it being pulled through the woods by a team of unicorns.

    • Doug Cutler

      Right now, today, gigawatts of HOT FUSION energy from the sun are gathered daily at costs as low as 50c/watt manufactured via solar PV. When and if Cold Fusion ever delivers anything close to this, come back and talk. Till then, there are plenty of CF blogs.

      Otherwise, Rossi’s last E-Cat demonstration failed to categorically eliminate a DC line fake. This is broadly understood even among supporters. Until real evidence is offered the default position for Rossi remains fraud.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      ha, piece of friendly advice: don’t invest your money in that.

  • anderlan

    Politicians are evil idiots that will believe anything someone with a bag of campaign contribution money tells them. And most state politicians already have a polyester shopping bag with their local utility’s logo on it ready to go in their cars because they’re frequent shoppers. And the Supreme Court would go back to 1770s Philly with a legally unregistered assault rifle bought at a gun show and assassinate every founding father if they could, because they essentially already have (Citizens United and McCutcheon). The only reason America isn’t yet destroyed is because occasionally what’s good for the lobbyists isn’t directly destroying us. But it’s inevitable if we don’t start kicking some heads in.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Some are. Some aren’t.

      We don’t help ourselves by demonizing the good folks.

      We do need to take responsibility for putting the good folks in the very bad situation where they must raise large amounts of money to get/stay in office. Of course that makes them treat rich people/corporations differently. That is entirely our fault.

      • anderlan

        Government and all politicians are already demonized by those who need fatalism to stop progress. I just kind of got started by rolling along with that subset of the zeitgeist for a moment. We need to turn the conversation away from that. You’re right. But the forces that would have the voters bounce uselessly between visions of impossible fantasylands and fatalistic defeatism have high platforms and they have the eyes and ears of many.

  • Will E

    Isnt that; Toledo Ohio, watching the grass grow
    Simon and Garfunkel song?
    go for it Toledo!!!!!

  • Will E

    Ohio population 11,570808
    housing units 5,128619

    When Ohio uses Solar and Wind Power, produced in Ohio
    to heat the houses, warm water and electricity
    the State can make in Dollars
    average housing unit is 166 dollars a month energy bill,
    is about 2000 dollars a year.

    is 5 million times 2000 is 10 billion US dollars a year
    in 10 year 100 billion US dollars now burned.
    can be used for nice things, like sport, education or a mini cruise.
    no wonder Ohioans are BONKERS about renewable Energy.

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