If the purchase of BigWind’s energy is economical, then Ohio should NOT have to mandate it!

The activist environmental group, Environment Ohio (aided by the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists), has made claims about alleged harms to the Ohio area due to the mandate freeze.  In their report, designed to lobby for reinstatement of the mandates, Environment Ohio projects losses to every Ohio county caused by the mandate freeze and property line-based setbacks.   Sadly, the Dayton Daily News and Springfield News Sun report this stuff as fact even though it is not credible. 

Environment Ohio fails to detail the full costs and benefits behind their ‘alleged’ $218 Million in lost savings. It does not matter who pays for renewable energy facilities. It only matters what they cost and the value of what they produce over time (see TStacy article comments for detailed example). 

Every business views energy costs as a bottom line issue and any smart business is constantly looking for ways to be more efficient because savings improve the bottom line.  Mandates are not needed to force businesses to do something they would do anyway.  Mandates can, however, force a company to do something that does not make sense from a return on investment perspective.  Mandates, subsidies paid by ratepayers and taxpayers, and predatory industries that threaten the public with unfounded claims and scare tactics aren’t the answer….

A recent report argued Ohio’s freeze on renewable energy standards has put the state’s clean energy industry at risk while state legislators study current laws.

Ohio Senate Bill 310 froze the state’s renewable energy mandates for two years and created a panel to study whether to change the state’s energy laws. But in the meantime, that legislation has cost the state jobs, as well as about $218 million in energy savings, according to a recent report by Environment Ohio, an environmental advocacy group.

The report estimated SB 310 has cost Clark County about $3.6 million in energy savings since it was enacted, and could cost about $29 million by 2025 if the freeze were made permanent. It argues if the freeze continues, the Dayton metro area would miss out on electricity savings worth $251 million by 2025, enough electricity to power about 175,000 homes for a year.

The report also cites Ohio House Bill 483, which increased the property line setback requirements for new wind farms in the state. The report noted that this law made it harder to develop wind farms like those proposed for Champaign County, and argued legislators should reinstate the renewable mandates.

Several state legislators, including Ohio Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina), could not be reached for comment regarding the freeze. But Faber and other lawmakers have said in the past that while Ohio’s renewable energy laws might make sense, the rules needed to be reviewed to ensure they are working to benefit consumers.

The state’s previous laws were potentially flawed, and needed to be reviewed, said Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He said the freeze will help legislators find a better balance than the previous standards…

Renewable energy freeze costly to state, area | Springfield, OH | www.daytondailynews.com.

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