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Advanced Energy Group Says Revisiting Renewable Standards Creates Uncertainty

Wind farm
David P. West/Shutterstock
Wind farm

Advocates for renewable and alternative energy sources are calling on Ohio lawmakers to create consistency when it comes to the state's green energy policies. They say Ohio falls behind other states when legislators keep revisiting the renewable energy standards.

Advanced Energy Economy’s Ray Fakhoury says the market is trending toward the use of renewable and alternative energy sources, and states with policies that back those sources are seeing more economic development.

Fakhoury says Ohio is in danger of missing out because policymakers keep revisiting the state’s green energy standards, creating uncertainty.

“It’s the ‘to be determined’ criteria right now if we had some favorable, comprehensive energy policy coming out of the administration then I think we’d be able to go a lot further,” says Fakhoury.

For years Republican state lawmakers have tried repealing or rolling back what they call renewable energy mandates, arguing the standards force companies and ratepayers to pay for expensive energy sources. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) says he expects the issue to come up once again this year.

"But those are some pretty big complex issues we'll have a lot of members interested in digging into," Obhof says.

Obhof added that wind setbacks, which determine where a turbine can be placed in relation to another person's property, is another issue senators are interested in addressing. Fakhoury and other wind energy advocates say the current setbacks are too strict and drastically hamper wind farm development.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.