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Ohio’s hostility to renewable energy makes the state less attractive

Ohio’s hostility to renewable energy makes the state less attractive
Decades in the making. That’s how Columbus achieving recognition as a leading candidate on the Amazon HQ2 shortlist should be seen.

Unlike most of the remaining competition, the Columbus metropolitan area threads the needle on virtually every quality of life indicator, mostly by design.

High-achieving schools, housing stock with reasonable prices, and direct access to institutions of higher education, exemplary medical care and diverse cultural experiences all help set Columbus apart.

Add in the Smart Columbus vision to reinvent the concept and execution of mobility, alongside existing connectivity to interstate transportation and fiber optic trunk line infrastructure, and a once-seeming long shot to land Amazon now looks increasingly like a Nick Foligno shot on goal.

But in every major competition, from economics to athletics, there is an X factor that helps determine the winner. This is no different. Amazon and scores of companies looking to expand or relocate across the United States are making it clear.

The X factor is direct access to utility-scale renewable energy.

Back in 2014, Amazon Web Services became one of the first corporations to publicly commit to powering its operations with 100 percent renewable energy. Today, the number joining that pledge stands at 119, including the addition of 35 companies in 2017.

These commitments are also being achieved at an ever-accelerating pace. Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that total U.S. corporate renewable energy procurement for 2017 increased 19 percent over 2016.

Of course, two Ohio wind farms are already helping Amazon meet its goal, grandfathered in before the implementation of the setback regulations that have brought Ohio’s wind potential to a full stop.

The disconnect for Columbus begins in the Statehouse it hosts. Beholden to a powerful few, the legislature is still struggling to overturn the narrow 2014 mandate setting a minimum setback distance for wind turbines of 1,125 feet from adjacent properties, more than double the prior standard. This struggle continues despite recent polls showing overwhelming support among Ohio conservative voters for renewable energy and wind power.

Mark Goodwin

 

SOURCE: Columbus Biz Journal

www.bizjournals.com

BY: Mark Goodwin

LINK:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/02/19/ohio-s-hostility-to-renewable-energy-makes-the.html

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‘Hundreds of Millions’ Seen Flowing Into Illinois After Approval of Renewable Energy Expansion Policy

The Illinois Commerce Commission today approved the state’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (the Plan), which lays out a path for electric utilities to get 25 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2025.

The plan includes incentives and programs to jumpstart Illinois’ development of wind and solar power. It also prioritizes funding for building new projects in the state, which will provide clean energy for years to come. The state’s ambitious 25 percent renewables goal was established by the landmark bipartisan Future Energy Jobs Act, a monumental clean energy development package passed in late 2016.

“Hundreds of millions of investment dollars will soon be flowing into developing clean wind and solar projects that will power Illinois homes and businesses. Not only is Illinois solidifying its place at the forefront of America’s clean energy economy, it’s showing other states how to provide equitable access to renewables,” said Christie Hicks,,manager of Clean Energy Regulatory Implementation, EDF.

Ambitious Plan Solidifies Illinois as Renewable Energy Leader

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